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Tesla says that customers will now be able to purchase select merchandise from its online shop as a trial run, using Dogecoin.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) has started accepting Dogecoin (DOGE) as payment on its online merchandise store. This development appears to be a trial run for Tesla as the company is looking to explore other payment options. Furthermore, the announcement also comes about a month after Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that his company would accept DOGE for merchandise. On Friday, January 14th, Musk tweeted, “Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin.”
Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus also acknowledged the Tesla development with a tweet of his own on Thursday night.
A few of the Tesla items were listed on the site as buyable with DOGE. They include the Cyberwhistle (300 DOGE), Giga Texas Belt Buckle (835 DOGE), and the Cyberquad for Kids (12020 DOGE). The respective dollar denominations for each item are $57, $160, and $2,287. All the aforementioned merchandise already appears to be selling out.
Tesla added the DOGE payment option for testing three days ago, according to a software engineer with the moniker “Tree of Alpha”. According to the engineer’s analysis of the given source code:
Dogecoin Price Rises Following Tesla Announcement
As of press time, DOGE was trading around 5.9% higher (after initially surging 11%) at $0.18 following the announcement. The meme crypto is currently the 11th largest digital currency with a $25.2 billion market cap. However, the recent broader crypto market downturn at the beginning of the year saw DOGE flirting with its lowest price since April 2021. Furthermore, the canine-themed digital currency remains 74% down from its all-time high in May last year.
Tesla Initially Started Accepting BTC as Payment for Cars in 2021 but Backtracked Due to Environmental Concerns
Last year, Tesla announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) for products – including its vehicles. However, the EV firm backtracked on that decision. Shortly after, Musk offered an explanation for this, citing concerns around BTC’s environmental toll. As the Tesla head put it then:
“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.”
At present, DOGE does not consume close to the same amount of energy per transaction as BTC. Among other things, this may be because the meme token is currently a less valuable asset than BTC. Nonetheless, in May last year, Musk stated that he was working with Dogecoin developers to “improve system transaction efficiency.”