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Make Tesla Great Again

05/13/2021 | 10:36am EDT

I hope you like Mexican food, because today's news is spicy. On the menu, a bit of crypto-pollution and a nice deep pass for Elon on Bitcoin. Then, let's take a closer look at Western countries' dependence on China for rare metal supplies, which could hamper electric vehicle manufacturers.

Crypto-sourcing

Bitcoin consumes more electricity than many countries on the planet. According to the Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, the mining of the leading cryptocurrency would consume 143 terawatt hours. That's more than Norway (124Twh), Belgium (82 Twh) or Switzerland (56 Twh). Another comparison by Visual Capitalist shows that the Bitcoin network is also much more energy intensive than the world's largest tech companies: twelve times more than Google and twenty-eight times more than Facebook for example.

As a reminder, Bitcoin uses what's called Proof of Work (PoW) to coordinate all the computers running the blockchain software. To secure the network, computers compete to solve complex cryptographic puzzles. The first to succeed wins a small amount of minted bitcoins as a reward. Because speed matters, miners with the most computing power win most often. And that power consumes a lot of electricity, by the way, Elon

Musk just announced that Tesla will stop accepting bitcoin payments because of the environmental impact it causes. This reversal surprised more than one fan of crypto-assets and adds to the long list of broken promises by the boss of the Californian firm. Tesla had started accepting BTC as a means of payment in February, after buying $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins for its balance sheet. This had caused Bitcoin to gain several tens of percent in the process.

Source: Twitter

Bitcoin mining and trading uses mostly fossil fuels. This is not really new since already in 2018, coal was the leading energy for mining Bitcoin. However, this "news" must have "surprised" the Tesla boss. Elon Musk may have felt threatened in the sustainability of the state subsidies Tesla receives, which could actually put the automaker on the list of big polluters in the US.

Glencore boss warns of China's future dominance in electric vehicles

Electric cars could be at the heart of a trade war in the supply of scarce resources between China and the rest of the world. In fact, the battle has already begun to control the land and supply of cobalt, one of the rarest raw materials in electric cars and now essential for battery manufacture. Ivan Glasenberg told the Future Of The Car Summit that "Western automakers would be naive to think that they can always rely on China to supply batteries for electric vehicle fleets. Glasenberg added that "Chinese companies have been quick to recognise the vulnerability of their supply chains and have tied up batches of cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo". Chinese companies already control around 40% of DRC production and have also signed long-term supply agreements with Glencore, the only major Western miner operating in the country. European companies must quickly find a solution to control their dependence on China, he said.

Growing demand for cobalt as EVs become more autonomous

Source: European Commission.

 

To recruit in the United States, you have to pay the price

Small American companies report difficulties in finding qualified workers: 44% of company managers say they have offers they cannot fill. As a result, 31% of companies are offering higher pay to attract workers, the highest figure in the past 12 months. The inflation machine is getting going.


ę MarketScreener.com 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. -0.80% 2821.44 Delayed Quote.62.29%
BITCOIN - EURO -0.97% 36604.56 Real-time Quote.56.08%
BITCOIN - UNITED STATES DOLLAR -1.27% 42784 Real-time Quote.49.55%
FACEBOOK INC 0.18% 353.58 Delayed Quote.29.21%
GLENCORE PLC 1.83% 336.55 Delayed Quote.41.85%
TESLA, INC. 2.19% 791.36 Delayed Quote.9.74%
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