Tesla Now Lets Customers Buy Selected Items With Dogecoin, The Company’s CEO Elon Musk has announced:. Products that can be purchased with the meme-based cryptocurrency include the Cyberquad for Kids (12,020 doge / about $2,320), the Giga Texas Belt Buckle (835 doge / about $161), and the Cyberwhistle (300 doge / about $58). Business Insider notes that Dogecoin rose 16 percent to about $0.20 after the news.
The initiative was initially announced by Musk on Twitter on December 14 when he said the company would “see how it goes” with the cryptocurrency payment option. It’s unclear if and when Tesla would eventually accept payment for its vehicles in Dogecoin, which Musk previously said may be possible his favorite cryptocurrency.
The initiative appears to be supported outside of the US, with the S3XY mug being available to purchase using Dogecoin from the UK’s Tesla store for 150 doge (about $29). At the time of writing, Dogecoin now appears to be the only way to purchase certain items as their regular payment icons are gone.
Support for Dogecoin purchases comes just months after Tesla began accepting Bitcoin for car purchases, only to discontinue the practice 49 days later, citing concerns over the use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but it should not come at the expense of the environment,” Elon Musk said in a statement.
Dogecoin currently does not consume close to the same amount of energy per transaction as Bitcoin, according to research from TRG Datacenters. But Dogecoin is still an energy-intensive proof-of-work cryptocurrency, as digital currency economist Alex de Vries explained in May. The smaller energy consumption per transaction is largely due to the fact that it is currently a less valuable asset than Bitcoin.
For his part, Musk said in May that he partnered with Dogecoin developers to “improve the efficiency of system transactions”. He was not shy about his support of the cryptocurrency, which started its life as a joke based on the Doge meme. “A lot of people I spoke to on the production lines at Tesla or building rockets at SpaceX own Doge,” Musk told CNBC in October. “They are not financial experts or Silicon Valley technologists. That’s why I decided to support Doge, it felt like the crypto of the people.”
Another Elon Musk venture, SpaceX, began accepting payments in Dogecoin in May and plans to send a satellite called DOGE-1 to the moon next year.