Bitcoin

In an About-Face, Tesla Has Sold 75% of Its Cryptocurrency Holdings for Nearly $1 Billion Cash

In an About-Face, Tesla Has Sold 75% of Its Cryptocurrency Holdings for Nearly $1 Billion Cash

Elon Musk’s relationship with cryptocurrency is as complicated as the rockets he sends into space.

In 2021, Tesla sank $1.5 billion into Bitcoin, stating to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the investment would allow the carmaker “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize our returns on cash.” Tesla soon accepted cryptocurrency as payment for its EVs, and the carmaker raked in a breathtaking billion-dollar gain on investment in a mere 45 days. 

The stake was ambitious, especially since Tesla already claimed more than $19 billion in cash and cash equivalents in hand just a few months earlier. But as is often the case, Musk seemed ahead of the curve—until he decided to re-write the rules once again. Citing cryptocurrency’s environmental unfriendliness, Tesla abruptly rebuked Bitcoin as payment just 49 days later. Bitcoin’s price went on to soar as high as $68,990, with Musk’s every move—from provocative tweets to Saturday Night Live appearances—nudging the currency’s value until it plummeted to as low as $17,800 in June of this year. 

Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021

Last week, Tesla raised eyebrows again by selling approximately 75 percent of its Bitcoin holdings, converting them into $936 million worth of good old-fashioned fiat currency. The move called out concerns over uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 shutdowns in China. But during a quarterly earnings call, Musk insisted that “We are certainly open to increasing our bitcoin holdings in the future, so this should not be taken as some verdict on bitcoin.” He has even hinted that SpaceX, like Tesla, may soon accept Dogecoin as payment for merch.
Musk’s seismic recalculations have stirred the pot among some of his most diehard believers, inspiring a backlash from some of his most loyal fans. As for Tesla and how it relates to the auto industry at large, Musk has—and will likely continue to—defy the tried and true. For the naysayers, consider that at any other moment in history, the richest men in the world had accumulated their wealth through equally ambitious but more orthodox means. (Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and Carnegie, these movers and shakers innovated within the constraints of their expansive empires.)

However, as we hurtle further into the tumult of the 21st century, through pandemics, political instability and brave new currencies, it seems Musk’s methods of madness might very well continue to find him landing on all fours.

Meet the Daymak Spiritus, the World’s First EV That Mines Cryptocurrency

Meet the Daymak Spiritus, the World’s First EV That Mines Cryptocurrency

While the auto industry is still working on perfecting self-driving cars, one marque is high-tailing it toward self-mining cars. Canadian outfit Daymak has just announced it’s building the world’s first automobile that can mine cryptocurrency.

The new light electric vehicle (LEV), dubbed the Spiritus, will be equipped with high-tech mining hardware and blockchain technology that will allow it to mine all kinds of crypto, from Bitcoin to Dogecoin, while it’s charging.

For those unversed in crypto lingo, mining is a way of earning cryptocurrencies by solving cryptographic equations and algorithms through computers. You can mine via any computer, including the one onboard this pioneering ride.

The Spiritus mines all kinds of crypto, from bitcoin to dogecoin, while it’s charging. 

Daymak

The Spiritus will include a GPU (processor) that supports a patent-pending system known as the Daymak Nebula. The Nebula comprises a miner that collects the coins and a digital wallet that stores them for future use. Naturally, there’s also an app that displays all the crypto info on your smartphone.
“We envision a future where your highway tolls, your parking and your drive-thru order will be paid directly on the fly with crypto. Your online bills and your banking can be handled through the same software platform paid in crypto,” Daymak president Aldo Baiocchi said in a statement. “And whereas most vehicles are depreciating while they sit in your garage, the Nebula Miner will make you money while your Spiritus is parked.”

The Nebula Miner can collect the coins using solar power. 

Daymak

According to the automaker, the emissions-free daily driver is also fitted with solar panels, which means the mining could be carried out using renewable energy rather than traditional fossil fuels. Recently, there has been some criticism regarding the environmental cost of mining crypto, but using solar power prevents all of that.
As for the car itself, it has a decidedly futuristic aesthetic with sleek lines and a sculpted rear end. Though it only has three wheels, it’s certainly no slouch. The range-topping “Ultimate” model features an 80 kWh battery that delivers up to 150 hp. Daymak says this allows the svelte two-seater to go from zero to 60 in a breakneck 1.8 seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 130 mph. The company also claims the car can cover some 300 miles and charge in under two hours.

You can access the Nebula Wallet and crypto info via your smartphone. 

Daymak

The Spiritus is the fifth model in Daymak’s Avvenire Series. This line-up includes everything from e-bikes to electric flying vehicles and has already garnered more than $350 million in pre-orders in less than two months. The Spiritus, which is expected to launch in 2023, has received more than 4,000 pre-orders so far.

As for price, the base “Deluxe” model starts at around $20,000 while the luxe carbon-fiber “Ultimate” version will set you back $149,000, but, hey, it might just pay for itself.
Check out more images of the car below:

Daymak

Daymak

Daymak

Daymak

Daymak

This Artist Teamed With Rick Ross to Create a Kaleidoscopic Porsche. Now the 911 and Its NFT Can Be Yours.

This Artist Teamed With Rick Ross to Create a Kaleidoscopic Porsche. Now the 911 and Its NFT Can Be Yours.

One auto designer-turned-artist found a way to sate both of his life’s passions—and the colorful results could be yours. Rich B. Caliente has a hand-painted Porsche 911 and an NFT to match, and the first-of-its-kind duo is heading to auction.

Caliente, a proud Miami local who worked in the auto industry for 15 years before becoming a full-time artist, says offering the NFT in conjunction with his colorful 911 was a way of immortalizing his creation in both the physical and digital world.

“To me, it’s very important to have something tangible,” Caliente told Robb Report on a recent Zoom call. “So it’s kind of like my twist on an NFT, where you have something that’s a digital capsule, but you also have something that can be enjoyed in real life.”

The 2021 Porsche 911 features Caliente’s signature splatters and drips. 

Rich B. Caliente

The artist, who has wrapped exotic rides for an array of high-profile collectors, enlisted some impressive help to make the project happen:  The bespoke 2021 Porsche 911 that’s gifted with the NFT was made in collaboration with rapper Rick Ross. The Grammy Award winner also signed the car to give it a dose of celebrity fairy dust.
According to the Caliente, this is the first time that a minted NFT artwork will come with a car title digitally included. It’s also one of the only Porsche art cars of this century, following Janis Joplin’s psychedelic 356 of the late ‘60s that Caliente describes as “amazing.”
The project, which is at the intersection of art, technology and automotive design, represents the culmination of Caliente’s career and also pays tribute to his Miami roots.
“The whole point of this project was to inspire, but also to formulate and represent where you’re from and who you are,” Caliente added. “So this is our little piece of the world that we live in.”
The artist says he briefly considered a Lamborghini Urus but opted for a 911 on account of its “iconic shape,” which he says enhances the artwork rather than compete with it. Caliente spent two days within arm’s reach of the Porsche to conceptualize the design before embarking on the two-week paint job.
The painstaking process involved taking everything off the car and applying his signature splatters and drips, which harken back to the work of Jackson Pollock. Think Tiffany-blue hues juxtaposed with splashes of bright yellow. Parts of the paint, like the orange above the taillights, also glow in the dark to emulate “oozing magma,” according to Caliente. The artist says that the whole design is symmetrical—so even though it’s thrown paint, everything looks purposeful.

Rich B. Caliente

The luxe interior, meanwhile, remains largely unchanged save for some custom leather mats, which are also emblazoned with both men’s signatures and Ross’s 2021 album title Richer Than I’ve Ever Been. Under the hood, the car retains its 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that delivers up to 379 hp.
The idea to digitally embed the Porsche’s title inside of the NFT may well point to a future of smart contracts that become a standard part of high-end digital purchases. And, since the transaction is processed through the blockchain, it’s completely transparent and traceable. All parties can see exactly where the funds go.
The auction, which is running June 4 through 14, will be hosted by an NFT management consultancy co-founded by Caliente known as Slashdot. Bids will be accepted online in the cryptocurrency Ethereum, and a portion of proceeds from the sale will benefit the Irie Foundation. This organization is dedicated to empowering the lives of at-risk youth in South Florida through mentorship programs, cultural experiences, and scholarship opportunities.
Naturally, the multi-pronged artwork doesn’t come cheap. Bids will start at $305,911, with the first three numbers a reference to Miami’s area code and the last to Porsche’s beloved sports car. For those who want to see the multicolored creation IRL, the 911 will debut at the 2021 Bitcoin Conference in Miami from June 4 to 5.
Caliente is already planning follow-up artworks, too. The artist exclusively shared with Robb Report that he has another NFT and one-off luxury ride in the pipeline, along with a bespoke aircraft and matching digital art.
Best get your digital wallets ready, folks.
Check out more photos of the car below:

Rich B. Caliente

Rich B. Caliente

Rich B. Caliente

In an About Face, Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Stop Accepting Bitcoin for Car Purchases

In an About Face, Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Stop Accepting Bitcoin for Car Purchases

Tesla has slammed the brakes on bitcoin payments.

Just weeks after CEO Elon Musk announced that the EV automaker would accept the digital currency as a form of payment, he has reneged on the decision due to environmental concerns.
The 49-year-old tech tycoon, who has been an avid supporter of cryptocurrency, took to Twitter on Wednesday to let the public know that Tesla has “suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin” due to the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining.”

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” Musk wrote.

Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021

Following Musk’s about-face, the world’s biggest and oldest digital currency fell almost 17 percent in value to its lowest point since the beginning of March. Bitcoin had previously been on an upward trajectory that saw it rise by 400 percent over the past year and hit a record high of $40,000 per coin. Musk had been one of the catalysts for its success with Tesla investing $1.5 billion into the cryptocurrency last February.
Regardless, it seems even Musk can’t ignore that the environmental cost of bitcoin is at odds with Tesla’s eco-friendly ethos. Indeed, the “mining” process, which typically involves tens of thousands of computers operating around the clock, drains colossal amounts of energy.
According to Cambridge University researchers, mining bitcoin currently consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year, which equates to roughly 0.55 percent of global electricity production. To put that into perspective, the cryptocurrency consumes more energy per year than countries such as the Netherlands, Argentina, Malaysia and Sweden.
Furthermore, as Bill Gates eloquently summed it up in a recent interview with CNBC, “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.”

Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2021

Musk isn’t ready to pull the plug on all crypto, though. He said Tesla will look at other cryptocurrencies that use less than 1 percent of Bitcoin’s energy per transaction. Dogecoin could be one such option as it uses 0.12 of a Kilowatt-hour (KWh) per transaction whereas bitcoin uses 707 KWh, according to statistics from TRG Datacenters.
Musk has been a proponent for the meme-originated coin and recently plugged it during his Saturday Night Live appearance. Prior to the bitcoin announcement, he also did a poll asking whether Tesla should accept dogecoin and 78.2 percent of the Twittersphere voted yes. Shortly after Musk renounced bitcoin, though, dogecoin fell sharply by 15 percent to below 40 cents per coin.
It’s safe to say whichever cryptocurrency Musk ends up accepting at Tesla, its value will stand to benefit from the news. Let the efficiency games begin.

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