Elon Musk Says Tesla Accepting Dogecoin Payments for Some Merchandise; Cryptocurrency Surges

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
January 14, 2022 Updated: January 16, 2022

Elon Musk has announced that Tesla is accepting payment for some merchandise with Dogecoin, sending the meme-based cryptocurrency surging and marking a return for the electric-vehicle maker to accept digital currencies for some purchases.

While the Tesla CEO wrote on Twitter on Jan. 14 that “Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin,” he didn’t provide further details as to which specific items customers could buy with the cryptocurrency.

According to Tesla’s website, customers are unable to purchase Tesla electric vehicles with the currency, but they can buy some collectible items that include a “Cyberwhistle,” a “Giga Texas Belt Buckle,” and a “Cyberquad” four-wheeler for children.

The support page on the electric carmaker’s website states that customers simply need to look for the Dogecoin symbol next to the “order” button for Dogecoin-eligible products, and they must have their own dogecoin wallets set up to pay with the cryptocurrency. It’s also the buyer’s responsibility to ensure that Dogecoin is transferred to Tesla’s Dogecoin wallet accurately.

Tesla also warns that orders that are overpaid with Dogecoin won’t be refunded to the original form of payment. It also noted that “hackers or other similar groups might try to cause problems with the Dogecoin network or your payment that could affect your transaction,” for which Tesla won’t take responsibility in the case of lost or stolen digital assets.

Financial institutions and governments across the world, including some U.S. lawmakers, have called for the cryptocurrency market to be regulated and have warned about the risks that the digital asset market poses.

Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus, who goes by the name of Shibetoshi Nakamoto, wrote on Jan. 14, “Yo, it’s happening,” on Twitter alongside an image of Tesla’s Cyberwhistle, which was available for a price of 300 Dogecoin.

The cryptocurrency has gained 17.1 percent in 2022, Barron’s reported.

This isn’t the first time that Musk, a cryptocurrency supporter, has said Tesla will accept dogecoin as payment for merchandise. In December, he announced that the company would accept dogecoin as payment for merchandise on a “test basis,” which sent the cryptocurrency soaring by 24 percent.

In March 2021, the electric car maker briefly accepted Bitcoin payments for its products, including its cars, a move that it announced one month after it invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency.

But just two months later, the company said it would no longer be accepting the cryptocurrency as payment because of Musk’s concerns over the amount of energy consumed during the bitcoin mining process, which is done through computers solving equations and puzzles.

“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said in a statement at the time.

According to data from TRG Datacenters, dogecoin uses 0.12 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per transaction, in comparison to Bitcoin and Ethereum, which consume 707 kWh and 62.56 kWh per transaction, respectively.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.