Tesla has a rather complex history with cryptocurrencies, but Dogecoin is the coin that will always remain come up when discussing the company and its CEO, Elon Musk.
Elon Musk, the self-confessed Dogefather, has been a long-time advocate of DOGE. He has openly admitted owning Dogecoin (and not Shiba Inu), and a recent tweet sent Doge’s price up by 9%.
So, what's next for Tesla and DOGE?
Does Tesla Accept Dogecoin?
As of January 14, Tesla now accepts Dogecoin payments for its range of merchandise.
On the Tesla website, the likes of a Cyberwhistle, belt buckle, and Cyberquad for Kids are all available to purchase using DOGE. The prices are as follows:
- Cyberwhistle: 300 DOGE
- Giga Texas Belt Buckle: 835 DOGE
- Cyberquad for Kids: 12020 DOGE
Other merchandise will likely also be available in DOGE, but it is currently out of stock.
Speculation over Dogecoin payments began earlier this week when Twitter sleuths spotted Dogecoin coded into the Tesla website.
Elon Musk made the final Dogecoin announcement on Twitter in the early hours of January 14. This was exactly one month after his initial merchandise announcement.
DOGE jumped 5% in the hour following Musk's announcement.
However, Tesla still does not accept Dogecoin, or any other cryptocurrency, for its cars.
Does Tesla Accept Dogecoin For Cars?
While the merchandise store now supports DOGE, Tesla still does not support Dogecoin payments for its vehicles.
However, the addition of Dogecoin to its payment system means it would be pretty simple for Tesla to accept DOGE here. The question is, would Tesla want to, or could it go back to Bitcoin instead?
Well, there’s only really three that could likely be accepted: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. These are the three cryptocurrencies that Elon Musk claims to hold.
In its latest quarterly report filed to the SEC, Tesla included a section updating the SEC on its digital assets. After referencing its purchase of $1.5bn in Bitcoin, Tesla said:
During the three months ended March 31, 2021, we accepted bitcoin as a payment for sales of certain of our products in specified regions, subject to applicable laws, and suspended this practice in May 2021. We may in the future restart the practice of transacting in cryptocurrencies ("digital assets") for our products and services.
What is important to note here is the specific terminology used. When touting a future restart, Tesla does not use the term ‘Bitcoin’, instead preferring ‘cryptocurrencies’, or digital assets. Aside from the plural nature of the term ‘cryptocurrencies’, Tesla’s choice not to write “transacting in Bitcoin” suggests the company is open to exploring other cryptocurrencies as payment.
Of the three cryptocurrencies he owns, much of Musk’s attention on Twitter goes towards Dogecoin. The Dogefather engages in discussions about the future of Dogecoin’s development, shares memes, and even owns a Shiba Inu puppy. A Twitter poll he released asking if Tesla should accept Dogecoin garnered nearly 4 million votes, with 78.2% in favour.
Musk has also been vocal about the improvements Dogecoin needs. “What matters [in my opinion] is lowering fees, decreasing block time and increasing block size,” he tweeted on October 24. “A single layer network with exchanges as de facto layer 2 seems like the simplest solution for a medium of exchange.”
Perhaps these issues would need to be addressed before Tesla could accept Dogecoin for its vehicles.
Bitcoin could still be the next cryptocurrency Tesla will accept. When the company first ended its Bitcoin support, Elon Musk cited the environmental impact of mining. However, Musk has clarified that Tesla may accept Bitcoin again if its renewable energy usage goes above 50%. Estimates on Bitcoin’s renewable energy proportion range from 20 to 70%, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.
While Dogecoin’s environmental impact is significantly less than Bitcoin’s, it does still use a variant of proof-of-work that could still consume a hefty amount of non-renewable energy. Perhaps, as Vitalik Buterin recommended, Dogecoin should consider a switch to proof-of-stake.
Read More: Elon Musk Can't Do Anything Without It Becoming A Cryptocurrency Token
[Image: Kai Pilger/Taun Stewart]