Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX and who has just become the world’s richest man, has said he would never turn down being paid in Bitcoin. In a tweet by author Ben Mezrich who wrote, “I’m never turning down getting paid in bitcoin again,” Musk responded saying, “Me neither.” Though the response indicates that the billionaire is poking fun at the author behind the movie The Social Network, Musk is a well-known advocate of the digital currency. Bitcoin has been in the limelight quite a lot lately after its price (per coin) touched a fresh all-time high of $41,530 (roughly Rs 30.4 lakh) last week. Earlier in December 2020, it set a record of $23,000 per coin, but has been raising the bar every week.
Musk became the world’s richest man with a personal net worth of more than $188.5 billion, Bloomberg News reported. He surpassed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (by a margin of $1.5 billion) after Tesla’s share saw massive gains at Thursday’s (January 8) closing bell. Notably, the SpaceX founder previously described Bitcoin’s structure as “brilliant.” The 49-year old billionaire who hopes to send people on Mars by early 2024, has said any future economy on the Red planet could be cryptocurrency-based.
To recall, Cryptocurrency or Bitcoin, in this case, is essentially an internet-based medium of exchange. It uses cryptographical functions to conduct financial transactions between two parties through private and public keys. Unlike a traditional currency such as the dollar, euro or yen, bitcoin has no central bank and is not backed by any government. Instead, the unit is controlled and regulated by its community of users, who argue that this makes it more efficient than traditional currencies. One of its benefits includes transfers between two parties can be done with minimal processing fees. While the total number of Bitcoins can never exceed 21 million, there are roughly 2.6 million Bitcoins in circulation, at the moment. In March last year, the Supreme Court had allowed trading in cryptocurrencies in India, though it is still not recognised as a legal tender. However, the central government is also said to be working on a law to ban cryptocurrency trading in the country.