- Mark Cuban said that his Dallas Mavericks will keep accepting crypto as they are better for the environment than gold.
- Tesla previously announced it would stop bitcoin payments over environmental concerns.
- The environmental impact of cryptocurrencies is a hotly contested aspect of the current crypto-hype.
- Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
Mark Cuban said late on Wednesday he believes cryptocurrencies are a more environmentally friendly way to store wealth than gold, in response to Elon Musk announcing Tesla would stop accepting bitcoin as a form of payment.
Cuban tweeted that his basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, would continue accepting bitcoin, dogecoin and ether payments for tickets and merchandise.
"We know that replacing Gold as a store of value will help the environment…shrinking big bank and coin usage will benefit society and the environment" Cuban tweeted, referencing research on the environmental impact of gold storage and bitcoin mining. The papers Cuban referred to separately argue that gold mining has high environmental costs and that most energy used in the bitcoin mining process is renewable.
Billionaire investor Cuban is a big advocate of cryptocurrencies and has encouraged the use of them as an investment, payment method and even as a tool for children to learn about money. The Mavericks began accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for tickets and merchandise in 2019 and now take bitcoin, ether and dogecoin tokens.
After being asked whether people actually used cryptocurrencies to buy Mavericks articles following Cuban's statement last night, he said they were making thousands of dollars a week from purchases made through crypto and that this number was growing.
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk had previously shared a note on Twitter announcing that the electric car manufacturer would stop accepting bitcoin as a form of payment over environmental concerns linked to bitcoin mining and the amount of energy used in this process. Tesla had announced in February that it would be accepting bitcoin as a payment form and purchased bitcoin tokens worth $1.5 billion.
The environmental impact of bitcoin is heavily contested, with fans saying claims that it negatively impacts climate change are unsubstantiated and critics warning of the cryptocurrencies' dangers as each transaction or purchase requires energy.
Earlier this month, a bill was launched in the New York State Senate that seeks to halt bitcoin mining until its environmental impact can be assessed. Research by Bank of America showed earlier this year the cryptocurrency uses more energy than corporations like American Airlines.
Tesla stock tumbled after the announcement and was last down 1.8% in premarket trading on Thursday. Bitcoin itself briefly fell below $48,000 on Wednesday after Musk's announcement after trading at around $54,000 earlier in the day. It was last trading around $50,446 on Thursday.