Stephanie Tower for The CoinGeek Pulse

The CoinGeek Pulse Episode 31: Tesla buys BTC, China digital red packets for Lunar New Year and blockchain powers recycling

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This week’s top story on CoinGeek Pulse is Tesla’s recent announcement that it bought US$1.5 billion dollars’ worth of BTC.

CEO Elon Musk has been actively tweeting about digital currencies in recent weeks, driving his followers to buy them. Because of this, the billionaire has been attributed for the price spike of alt coins like BTC and Dogecoin. Tesla also announced, it would start accepting BTC as a payment method for its products. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the automaker clarifies that the move will be “subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis”.

While many digital currency enthusiasts welcome the news, others have expressed apprehension. Gary Black, a Tesla shareholder, private investor and former Goldman Sachs executive said he is unloading his shares citing investing in BTC is risky. He tells his over 50-thousand Twitter followers that Musk’s action is “hubris.”

CoinGeek historian Kurt Wuckert Jr. also weighs in on the issue. He says, “Elon has BTC. And if he wants he can spend it one day just as long as the rest of the planet isn’t also trying to broadcast more than 6 megabytes per hour at the same time. Then he can’t spend it, because that’s just how BTC works now.”

Meanwhile in Asia, China’s Beijing has intensified its digital currency trial by handing out online “red packets” worth a whopping 10 million yuan. That’s equivalent to US$1.5 million. Some 50,000 locals received 200 yuan in digital red packets this week via lottery. The move aims to increase local consumption and encourage migrant workers to stay in the city for the Lunar New Year festivities. It is also a part of a wider test that will eventually see digital yuan being used in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. 

Now, here’s a story of two companies showing how blockchain technology can be used to help our planet. Gillette partners with blockchain-powered recycling firm Plastic Bank to use digital tokens to incentivize plastic collection and track the recycling through blockchain.

In a report by McKinsey & Company, sourcing sustainable materials is becoming a top priority for lifestyle and fashion companies. That’s why TextileGenesis, a company based in Hong Kong and India is also using blockchain technology to create a permanent record of every stage of its clothing production. The result, fashion brands are now more transparent by tracking the production from raw materials to the finished product. Blockchain technology is earning the trust of many companies because of its stable and secure system as a public ledger of truth.

TextileGenesis was awarded in the past for innovations promoting a greener fashion industry and running a pilot project with global fashion brand H&M.

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.