Elon Musk has been named person of the year for 2021 by Times Magazine. Mr Musk, an entrepreneur and billionaire, is well known as the founder and chief executive of space exploration company SpaceX. He also founded Tesla, the electric vehicle giant, and even surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s wealthiest person earlier this year. The magazine described Mr Musk as a “clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman”
Another thing Mr Musk is well known for is his comments on cryptocurrency, and in March, his company Tesla even said it would accept Bitcoin for payments.
However, this stance was abandoned just two months later.
Mr Musk said Tesla would not sell any Bitcoin, and intends to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.
He added: “We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use [less than] one percent of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”
The move sparked a sharp downturn in the value of Bitcoin, but Mr Musk said in July that Tesla is “likely” to once again accept it for payments.
He said: “I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50%, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.
“Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.”
Another cryptocurrency Mr Musk has influenced in the past is Dogecoin – created by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who decided to create a payment system as a “joke”, making fun of the wild speculation in cryptocurrencies at the time.
But this week, Dogecoin has surged by as much as 25 percent in the wake of a new announcement by the Tesla founder.
He said Tesla will begin accepting payments in Dogecoin for some products.
He tweeted today: “Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes.”
The tech billionaire has been a long-time advocate for the meme-based cryptocurrency, and has personally invested in it.
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In May, he asked his Twitter followers if Tesla should accept payments in Dogecoin, with more than three quarters of respondents saying yes.
Earlier this week, Mr Musk said that Dogecoin worked better than Bitcoin as a form of payment as it could handle higher transaction volumes and does not have a fixed supply.
He told Time Magazine: “Even though it was created as a silly joke, Dogecoin is actually better suited for transactions.
“It is slightly inflationary… but that’s actually good as it encourages people to spend rather than to hoard it as a store of value.”
Dogecoin co-founder Mr Markus responded to the comments by tweeting: “I think it’s safe to say the cofounder of PayPal might know a little something about money, so y’know, it may be interesting to take a listen.”
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Back in March 1999, Mr Musk co-founded a little known company called X.com, which offered online financial services and e-mail payment services.
He funded the new venture with £8million ($10m) from the sale of a previous business.
A year after it was founded, X.com merged with Confinity – a company that possessed a money-transfer service called PayPal.
Given the success of the service, the company renamed to PayPal in 2001, but the relationship between Mr Musk and other directors turned sour a year prior to this.
Mr Musk was ousted in October 2000 from his role as CEO due to disagreements with other company executives over his desire to move PayPal’s Unix-based infrastructure to Microsoft Windows.