Payment options: cryptocurrencies

Payment options: cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin has become the standard bearer for cryptocurrencies like Dash or Litecoin, will Tesla be the first major company to accept them? Would this move help solidify Tesla as a progressive company, in line with their stances on sustainable energy?

reed_lewis | 17/01/2017

How does accepting Bitcoin make Tesla progressive? The only advantage to those cryptocurrencies is that they are untraceable. Other than that, they are more a pain in the butt compared to billing a credit card which is significantly easier and done hundreds of millions of times a day.

reed_lewis | 17/01/2017

Furthermore all of those currencies have to be sent by the purchaser. Accepting those for payment of supercharger excess fees would not be possible, because Tesla could not bill a cryptocurrency easily.

My credit cards are paperless anyways. I do not get a paper statement, nor get anything in paper from the issuer.

Dramsey | 17/01/2017

Bitcoin is far too volatile, IMO, for a company to accept as payment for major purchases. The current 30-day estimate is over 5%, whereas the volatility of the dollar is about 1%.

mdd | 17/01/2017

Difficult, if not impossible, for a public company to responsibly accept bitcoin. Plus, Elon would have to have really, really big weed habit.

DTsea | 17/01/2017

tesla only takes real money.

real money means money their suppliers and employees will accept.

reed_lewis | 17/01/2017

@Dramsey - You are correct. Bitcoin is not a stable currency. Imagine the charging rates changing daily if paying in Bitcoin and the complains about 'ripping people off' if the rate were 10% above the dollar rate?

@DTsea - A agree. Bitcoin cannot be easily converted to dollars. imagine if Tesla attempted to pay their employees in Bitcoin? That would not happen.

So bottom line, Dollars and paying by either cash/ credit or check is the only way any reputable company will accept payment.

EVRider | 17/01/2017

Not likely. I don't believe Tesla even accepts PayPal today, even though Elon was the CEO.

El Mirio | 17/01/2017

How about Tesla's do some bitcoin mining for their owners during idle times, little side job for your tesla ;o)

reed_lewis | 17/01/2017

Perhaps with the Hw2 hardware they could do that.

vperl | 17/01/2017

My push is for the newly developed and practical PERPETUAL MOTION machine to be the installed in forth coming Tesla vehicles.

The science is ripe, it can be funded thru the Bitcoin .

Cast forth your contributions.

vperl | 18/01/2017

No casting

vperl | 18/01/2017

No casting

reed_lewis | 21/01/2017

We also own a 2017 Chevrolet Volt. I just renewed the Onstar subscription, and noticed that Chevrolet accepts Paypal payments for that service.

That is strange.

ulrichard | 12/04/2017

Bitcoin is the future!
Privacy is only one feature, and it's often misunderstood. Bitcoin is only private if you are very careful about that aspect.

But it has so many advantages over any existing means of payment:
* asset based
* cheap transaction fees
* no holding fees
* has escrow built into the protocol
* no chargebacks
* settles in seconds for low values and one hour for extremely high values.
* you can create as many accounts as you like to compartmentalize your holdings
* no requirement to bind an account to one person
* accounts can be shared between individuals or machines
* the car could have a bitcoin wallet and directly pay for electricity, parking, roads... maintenance
* can't be stolen as long as you hold it yourself and take care of your private keys
* no devaluation through (centrally planned) inflation
* In case of a dispute you can proof an unfalsifiable payment on the public immutable blochchain

Yes it is more volatile than legacy currencies, but it gets better over time and generally trending upwards.
There are payment companies that handle the volatility and conversion to USD for you for a fee that is one fourth of credit card fees.

So, yes Tesla should look into Bitcoin. Better yesterday than tomorrow.

reed_lewis | 12/04/2017

Sorry, but I much prefer using a credit card for purchases online, etc. If I have an issue with the purchase, I can call my credit card company and dispute the charge. With Bitcoin, my money is basically gone when I hit 'send'

Plus I need to convert some of my assets into Bitcoin for payments that need to be made. There is a charge for that of course.

in terms of binding an account to a single person, I really do not find that to be a positive. If 100 people have access to a single account, where is the audit trail?

ulrichard | 12/04/2017

@reed_lewis No, credit cards don't work well all the time.
See my experience here:

And why credit cards are no longer appropriate in the internet age:

You can set up a multi sig where multiple people have access to the funds, and you see which one signed the transaction.
If you have to call your CC company after the fact, it takes long, you are not sure, and it is horribly annoying.
With BTC you can set up an escrow multisig, and the seller gets the money only when you received the goods in good shape.
With CC the seller can't be sure you issue a fraudulent chargeback, and thus the settlement effectively takes months.

With Bitcoin you own the money.
If you bring your $ to the bank, you are no longer the owner.
And by using a CC you are even going into dept.
Let alone the non existent security of CC's that allows any waitress or internet criminal to order something and have you pay for it.

reed_lewis | 12/04/2017

Richi, you are comparing two different things here. In your first link you are using a DEBIT card, not a CREDIT card. There is a major difference. I NEVER use a debit card for anything. In fact for my checking accounts, I do not even have a debit card. I have a checking account access card (which I use at the ATM, etc.).

As to chargebacks, with a CREDIT card, while the amount is in dispute, you do not owe anything for the amount.

To me debit cards are awful and I do not use them. One time when my wife used a debit card (before we got rid of them), she was charge twice for the same $25 transaction. We had to wait for three days to get the money back. If she had used a credit card, I would merely call the Credit card company and charge would be removed.

So as long as I have available credit, I can charge whatever I want. As long as I pay it off by the due date, it costs me nothing.

As to the second link, that is your personal opinion instead of facts. In the case of the hotel charging for something that should not be charged, again I call the credit card company and the charge is wiped off my bill. I am never out the money at all.

Credit cards have a pretty much universal acceptance rate. I can use it anywhere.

Furthermore, I get other benefits with a CREDIT card. My cards extend the warranty for a full year, and I get points which I can use for airline travel, and other benefits. Try getting that with Bitcoin!

So while you feel that Bitcoin is a cool new currency, it has major issues.

ulrichard | 12/04/2017

So what do you think would have worked differently if it was a VISA credit card rather than a VISA debit card?

BTW. Here is my store of a credit card chargeback:

So you don't pay any fees for your credit card? Which brand is that?

Credit cards may be universally accepted in the US. But over here in Europe many shops don't want to cover the high fees, and having to distribute them also to customers paying with more efficient means.

Who do you think pays for the benefits you get with the points, and for the brochures outlining them?
I don't need benefit points, the appreciation in value is enough for me.

reed_lewis | 12/04/2017

Again, you are talking about DEBIT cards in your link in which the money is removed from your account when the charge is settled. I do not use them. I use a CREDIT card in which I do not even have to pay for the charge if it is invalid. As an example, my card was stolen by someone. When I saw the illegal charges, I called the card company, and they were removed immediately from my bill. I never paid for those, and was never out one cent. The total time it took to take care of this was less than 5 minutes of my time.

My Discover, two Visas, and Mastercard have no annual fees. The only fees I pay is if I carry a balance (which I do not), or if I pay late.

And here in the states, credit card acceptance is ubiquitous. There is probably less than 5 places I know of which do not accept credit cards.

And who pays for the benefits? People who pay interest, and late fees, and merchant 'swipe' fees.

Look, you are probably arguing with the wrong person about credit cards. I used to work for a company that worked with credit card processing. I know more about how the credit card processing systems work than most people.

reed_lewis | 12/04/2017

As to using Bitcoin to pay for charging fees... If you have to authorize each payment of a few dollar of charging, that makes it more difficult than simply getting a statement at the end of the month or having a few dollars be added to the prepaid account when needed.

Here in the states, The biggest AC charging network is Chargepoint. I have a RFID card for them, and use it every day at work where they have charging stations. The cost is Zero, but they still use a card.

But since I charge at home, and have at least 12 Superchargers within a 150 mile radius of my house, I have no issues with travel that are not handled with Tesla's Superchargers.

reed_lewis | 12/04/2017

Bitcoin may be appreciating in value right now, but that is not guaranteed. It might go down.

ulrichard | 12/04/2017

The last link was about a credit card not debit card.

If I have to make a call to have something fix that could be easily prevented, that is a major inconvenience. I don't like to waste my time by listening to phone line hold music.

The type of credit card you describe doesn't exist over here. They cost $100 a year. They are usually linked to a bank account for automatic payment. So there are no late payments, but they charge interest for the time between spending and the automatic payment of the monthly bill.

I used to be the only one in our family and the family of my wife to have a CC. After I cancelled mine two years ago, none of us has one. It is liberating :-)
Booking flights used to be the only place without a good alternative. But these days expedia and cheapair accept Bitcoin.

I generally try to avoid businesses that lure potential customers with benefits. There is no free lunch. Companies are there to make money. In the end it's the customers who pay the bills plus the added friction. It's the same with health insurances that pay for your gym. I prefer to pay honest rates for the services that I actually use.

>> I used to work for a company that worked with credit card processing.
Oh that explains a lot. If you are part of the legacy system, then it's harder to let go. That is why it feels like telling all the benefits of electric cars to the owner of a gas station.

It would be possible to have a wallet in the car software that pays for the charge without you having to do anything. Other than occasionally funding the car's wallet. Or you can set it up so that you have to authorize the payment for the charge. That is the beauty of programmable money. You decide the level of control you want.

I don't even know how many charging networks there are in Switzerland. But I could buy at least 4 different cards with each having an annual fee of $100. And still easily find a charging station where none of them would work.
Yes, superchargers are great. And they are dense enough here that I don't need other charges on longer trips. But still it would be cool if paying for a charge at the other stations would be at least as easy if not easier as paying for gasoline.

reed_lewis | 12/04/2017

Chargepoint and other networks have no monthly fee for having a card. So I guess it is different here.

As to having to fund a car's bitcoin account, that means I have more money tied up in an account that I have to keep funded. That is too much trouble. I would rather it charge a credit card, and I pay it at the end of the month.

As to credit cards, here in the States, you charge up to your credit limit, and then pay the bill either by sending a check or a direct transfer from your checking account that you initiate. Also if you pay your bill by the due date, there is no interest charged at all. So I charge whatever I want, and pay it off at the end of each month. There is no cost for me to do this.

As to disputes, every one of my cards has the ability to report an invalid charge online. I do not need to call someone. But again here in the states, I have never had to wait more than 30 seconds whenever I have called a Credit Card company.

As to who pays for benefits, as long as it does not cost me anything, I do not care. I am receiving a benefit which is being funded by others.

Question - What happens if your treasured bitcoin password is hacked and someone transfers all the money out of your account? You are out the money. There are many ways that your computer could be hacked. In fact I know of a few viruses which focus on bitcoin accounts to grab money.

If my credit card number is stolen, I am out nothing. I would rather be comfortable doing that.

Also, there are many businesses around here which provide benefits for frequent customers. Restaurants have frequent eater programs in which if you spend a certain amount of money, you get a small amount off your next bill. In fact if you were to avoid businesses which provide benefits, you would have trouble getting anything. What about frequent flyer programs? That is a benefit...

Also I always buy airline tickets directly from the airline which I am flying on. The price is always the same for the same ticket, and purchasing it directly from the airline means that you get better service in the event of changes for example.

I have been using credit cards for 35 years and have never had any issues with cards not being accepted. But again perhaps it is the difference between US and other countries.

What you are describing with bitcoin seems to already be available with credit cards, but even better.

So the concept of using bitcoin is just to say you are using it, and nothing more. And the negatives in my mind outweigh the positives here in the States.

ulrichard | 12/04/2017

There are Bitcoin hardware wallets. I never witnessed comparable levels of security with any bank. Usually increased security is accompanied with a reduction in convenience. Not so with Bitcoin. I have read access to my holdings on my computer in real time without having to log into an inconvenient website that will auto logout after ten minutes of inactivity. Only for spending I need a high security device that is equally convenient to use. So nothing happens when your computer is compromised. The only thing they could get is the accounting history. What about online banking? There are malware kits in the wild targeting online banking. Only few banks offer effective measures against that. I just changed my main account to another bank because they didn't offer appropriate security for their online banking.

This reliance and good faith in third parties and intermediaries is fine for as long as it works. But when it breaks down, it can end miserable. As happened with this guy:

I also used analog telephones for 35 years without any issues. But still I don't feel the urge to hold on to it.

reed_lewis | 13/04/2017

I guess the difference is that the consumer protections and banking regulations here in the states are different than that the regulations and requirements in other parts of the world.

One comment - Using single examples of something not working is not an adequate reason to completely stop using something. If one were to use this methodology, having a car get a flat tire would result in the complete non use of rubber tires.

And I come back to convenience. I can quickly use my credit card with full knowledge that if it is compromised I do not have to worry.

And using your example of an easy way to pay for charging stations which cost money, here in the States, we have Chargepoint which does not charge any annual fee. When you get the RFID card, you can add a small amount of money to the Chargepoint account. When you start charging you tap the card to the charger. When you finish, you tap again and the amount of charging is deducted from the chargepoint account. If the account goes below a certain amount it auto recharges from a credit card. Very simply, and I do not have to do anything manually, including having to transfer money to a different bitcoin account or the like. So how is that difficult?

I guess my point is using your examples of the banking system in other countries to try and convince United States residents that bitcoin is better simply will not work because the banking system here is a lot different.

In the last example you give, again here in the States, the onus is on the card issuer and merchant to prove that you authorized the charge. So again this example is not applicable for the United States.

...And I referenced the fact that I worked on credit card processing to make sure you understood that I have a knowledge base from which I speak. I also worked for a company that did an alternative payment processing system which would have completely bypassed credit/debit cards. So I am perfectly comfortable using alternative payment methods where they will be beneficial to the merchant and consumer. Bitcoin does not meet that requirement in my mind here in the States.

ulrichard | 14/04/2017

I read a story about how well the consumer protection and banking regulations work in the US just last week:
I think at this point is is no longer necessary to point out at every single story, that something like this could not happen with Bitcoin.

Did you ever think about the security of these RFID cards for the charging networks.
RFID cards can be easily copied by hand:
Or with a $16 device
And with a powerful antenna they can be read from more than 2 meters away.

So one last question regarding an analogy to the security of credit cards.
When you leave your home, do you leave the door open and unlocked, trusting that the insurance will cover what gets stolen?

Convenience to me is not only how easy it is to use. If I constantly have to worry that somebody can steal from me because I use a product that has no security, that is not so convenient for me. Even if it is usually covered when I report it.

reed_lewis | 14/04/2017

OK. The first link above is related to the ineptness of the LASD not the banking industry. If there is a legal order that is submitted, the bank has to follow the law. Now you are reaching for examples which do not apply to CREDIT CARDS which is what I am talking about.

As to hacking RFID Cards, if you have authorized you car to automatically make payments from a bitcoin account, then the ease at which someone can take the money is the same as someone getting free charging from your account. But the difference is that if someone were to hack my RFID card for Chargepoint, I would get a notification on my phone that it was starting a charging session wherever they started it. I immediately would login to Chargepoint and disable the card in about 20 seconds. So again there will be no financial loss to myself.

In regards to the leaving the doors open, that is not comparable. When I use a credit card I have no financial loss if there are invalid transactions. I merely report the invalid charges, and it is taken care of. OTOH with items/property stolen from me, I have a financial loss. See the difference? In fact that is why I NEVER use a DEBIT CARD. Those card take the money immediately from my account.

Please listen to this line: No one is stealing from me when my credit card is hacked. I am not out one cent when someone uses my card illegally. I have not paid anything extra, nor do I have to pay anything. It is probably different in other parts of the world, but in the US, the Credit card industry is very regulated.

So for me the convenience of being able to use the CREDIT CARD everywhere is more important than the two times my card was used illegally, and I had to take a total of 10 minutes to rectify the situation in the past 30 years. With Bitcoin I would have not been able to use it for at least 90% of those charges, and would not have been able to fly on at least 30 airplane trips for free because of the accrued miles I received for using the credit card.

Look, I understand the 'coolness' of bitcoin, and the feeling that you are superior to mere mortals who use the 'old fashioned' credit cards. But the dollar value of bitcoin transactions will never equal much more than a few % of credit card transactions.

But if you prefer to pay with bitcoin, go ahead, you are just never going to convince me (or many others) to do so.

ulrichard | 19/04/2017

So, every time you call your CC company to report a fraudulent charge, they immediately cancel it? Seems like they trust you a lot. Sounds like an invitation for cheating. So why don't you go out shopping big time, and report everything as fraudulent?

I trust Tesla enough to assume they protect important private keys enough, that a gangster with a big antenna driving by can't extract them from the car's essential systems.
Sure, there would be no huge financial loss if your RFID card is copied and used while you are on a plane, unable to block it.
But people don't stop messing because the reward is small, as evidenced e.g. by hardened pay phones like the "Fortress". www.phworld. org/payphone/weco.htm

I like the opening sentence of the latest post from Brian Krebs:
It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another episode of “Which Restaurant Chain Got Hacked?”
krebsonsecurity. com/2017/04/shoneys-hit-by-apparent-credit-card-breach/
Now do you think restaurants get hacked for their secret recipes for their foods, or for the unsecured payment information of their customers? What if there was no unsecured payment information to grab?

Sure Bitcoin is small at this point compared to credit cards. But so are electric cars compared to ICE ones. The impediments are in both cases not with the superior technology, but with the infrastructure, or better with the perception thereof. Andreas Antonopolus delivered an excellent talk on that topic last year: com/watch?v=5ca70mCCf2M

mattykolej | 08/08/2018

Sad that cryptocurrency is associated mostly only with bitcoins. If we talk about the progress, I suppose, Tesla maybe should accept a lot of options. For instance Emercoin

ulrichard | 08/08/2018

Here is a nice discussion about Bitcoin vs. Altcoins

blue adept | 08/08/2018

IMHO, the whole virtual vapor-coin thing is just that, nothing but a he-say, she-say hype machine based on hearsay derived from unsupported, speculative supposition and conjecture as part of a massive con with no substantive/material basis in reality.

I mean, hell, I could SAY that I'm the single wealthiest person not only in my own country, but the entire world!

However, without any evidence, without any basis in reality to support that claim, it's worth about as much credence as however much anyone would care to lend it...

See what I did there?

If I were you, any of you, I would stay the hell away from ANY sort of virtual coin/money.

stevewaugh.sem | 07/09/2018

If you want to use the bitcoin as any other currency and get the benefits of being your own bank, make transactions like paying online, get cash from the ATM, buy stuff in shops and supermarkets; in other words, if you want to use Bitcoins as cash; then you also need a Cryptocurrency wallet payment like

ulrichard | 07/09/2018

Why is it not listed on: ?

@just an allusion
How is that different from any FIAT currency? Ah yes the guys with the guns...

Shock | 07/09/2018

Bitcoin is trash. All these will coins are.

ulrichard | 07/09/2018

Your comment is about as good as this guy who said he would never buy a Tesla, because the logo looked like a contraceptive coil. But at least the other one was funny.

blue adept | 07/09/2018


While such fake/counterfeit pay structures have temporarily proven useful in third-world countries during times of great strife or war until a government hierarchy could be re-established, in the context of our nation's financial system it has no substantive material basis in reality and possesses no intrinsic value, only arbitrary, digitally simulated value derived from the relationship between the contrived supply and demand metrics surrounding it rather than the value of any actual material basis which, given e-coins inherent imaginary nature, is artificial wealth based on its creator's speculation as to what its' worth might be at any given time depending on the whim and fancy of its creator(s).

It is money which is neither convertible by law to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard and so, NOT "fiat".

It is the sort of intrinsically valueless money that is used as money that is favored by the seedy, underworld types (e-coins are the primary form of exchange on the 'dark web') because it doesn't leave a paper trail that could be used to establish guilt, among other equally nefarious activities.

ulrichard | 09/09/2018

@just an allusion
With comments like this, people out themselves as never having really thought about the nature of money, or a definition for intrinsic value.

All value we give to things is by convention. People value Dollars because men with guns say that the green papers have value. Gold has value because enough people believe it.
We think we live in capitalism, but in reality we have money socialism. Where a small number of powerful people decide on the monetary policies and the supply.

More an more people start to prefer money that
* can be sent to anybody in the world in a couple of seconds
* is very hard to steal
* can be sent with minimal fees
* works 24/7
* is asset based
over money that
* is printed like there was no tomorrow
* is relatively easy to steal
* can be censored at every transaction
* works during business hours
* exists mainly as dept

NKYTA | 09/09/2018

I have no doubt we will get there. I don’t see bitcoin as a “now” thing.

Extreme volatility in a base currency isn’t tenable, so that is the first hurdle. I’m sure some will do very well now, and some won’t. On the downhill slide into retirement it is smarter to be more risk averse than not.

That said, the Millenials and next gen will drive this for sure, hopefully in a smart way.

ulrichard | 10/09/2018

For me it has been a "now" thing for a couple of years. I use it for electronics, cutlery, computers, hotels, restaurants, camping, car, tires, sports, clothes, mobile phone prepaid, hosting, music, movies, food…
It works much more reliable than credit cards. The only problem is that I have to select the shops carefully.
And I'm not even a millennial.

The volatility will ease off over time. The swings already now are not as extreme as they used to be. That is the same with everything radically new, paradigm shifting.

reed_lewis | 10/09/2018

For people outside the USA where credit cards work well, bitcoin and the like might be preferable, but here in the USA, we have credit cards that offer the following features:

1. The money is not owed until the end of the billing cycle
2. You are not responsible for charges that are not authorized by you.
3. You get rewards for using the card (free flights, etc.) which cost the card holder nothing.
4. Pretty much universal acceptance.
5. A mature stable processing method for accepting payments from the standpoint of the merchant.
6. A mature stable system of making the payment at the end of the month,

Until Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency has these 'features' it will never compete.

And as to ease of use, my credit card works perfectly everywhere. I do not have to chose my shops. I can find the best price and purchase there.

So while I understand people who live in other parts of the world who have to deal with crappy credit card rules (really they are glorified debit cards), here in the USA we have a great system that just plainly works!

reed_lewis | 10/09/2018

OK. My first line should have been:

"For people outside the USA where credit cards DO NOT work well, bitcoin and the like might be preferable, but here in the USA, we have credit cards that offer the following features:"

blue adept | 11/09/2018


Again, it's about intrinsic, substantive MATERIAL basis in reality, NOT virtual fabrication, but maybe I was talking a bit over your head...

Think of it like this, if you go to a bank to get a loan (for the purchase of a car for example) they'll ask what sort of "collateral" you have to put up to "secure" the loan you're applying for.

So tell me, what sort of 'collateral' is there behind e-coin other than someone, somewhere, saying that they're worth "X" amount?

ulrichard | 11/09/2018

@just an allusion
I only buy what I can afford. I know there are cultures where this is uncommon.

So, I'm curious of your definition of "intrinsic value". In case you are referring to the gold standard, that was abandoned a long time ago. But even with gold, what is the intrinsic value of gold? You can not eat it, it doesn't provide shelter nor warmth. Even the value of gold was only established by convention. At the time it just had the best properties to be used as money. But times change, other forms of money are better suited in todays society.

Basing an economy on dept and dept upon dept has failed before.

Bitcoin is asset based, and it is the asset in and by itself. That is why it doesn't need a collateral.

blue adept | 13/09/2018



E-coin acts as it's own collateral basis whose alleged wealth is derived from merely whatever someone might SAY it is worth at any given time with no intrinsic, substantive MATERIAL basis whatsoever in reality...

It's all speculation, hype and innuendo, just he-say, she-say hearsay, nothing more.

ulrichard | 14/09/2018

@blue adept

So, if you care so much about intrinsic value and substantive MATERIAL basis, you only do barter trade?

RadOne | 14/09/2018

For now cryptocurrency is the value it has as exchange for USD . When businesses start paying their employees in cryptocurrency that will change. Them it will be the intrinsic value of your actual work.

DTsea | 14/09/2018

right. so for now op you sell your cryptocurrencies for dollars or euros or whatever and pay for the car with that

ulrichard | 17/09/2018

You write as if companies paying their employees in Bitcoin was somewhere in the future. I have a couple of friends who have received their salary in Bitcoin for a couple of years. I use for part of my income.
Just because USD is the reference for you doesn't mean it is for everybody.

No thanks. That would be like inventing a device that can convert electricity into gasoline.