Bitcoin (BTC) rises after Musk says Tesla may settle for the crypto once more

SpaceX Founder and Chief Engineer Elon Musk speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

The price of Bitcoin rose on Sunday evening in the US after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the electric vehicle maker could accept Bitcoin transactions again in the future.

At 11:09 p.m. ET on Sunday, Bitcoin rose 10.2% to $ 38,903.23, according to data from Coindesk. Bitcoin is up more than 30% since the beginning of the year, although its current price is far from its all-time high of $ 64,829.14 in April.

Those gains came after Musk said Sunday that Tesla would resume Bitcoin transactions “if there is confirmation of reasonable (~ 50%) clean energy use by miners with a positive future trend.”

Teslas stopped buying Bitcoin cars in mid-May, citing concerns about the climate impact of cryptocurrency mining.

Crypto mining requires enormous amounts of energy to run powerful computers – Bitcoin mining uses more energy than entire countries like Finland and Belgium, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.

The latest development is another example of big market moves following comments from the Tesla boss and billionaire.

Hundreds of billions of dollars were wiped from the cryptocurrency market after Musk tweeted in May about Tesla’s suspension of Bitcoin car purchases. Musk’s past tweets have also been linked to movements in the stock market – from so-called meme stocks like GameStop to the investor in the viral song “Baby Shark”.

Bitcoin in the focus of the environment

The environmental impact of Bitcoin mining has been studied intensively.

As part of its crackdown on Bitcoin, China’s Inner Mongolia – a major Bitcoin mining hub – proposed penalties for companies and individuals involved in digital currency mining in late May. It came after Chinese Vice Prime Minister Liu He said it was necessary to “curb bitcoin mining and trading behavior” to prevent the “transfer of individual risks to the social sphere”.

Elsewhere, in May, the Iranian government announced a ban on mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies until September 22, after officials said the power outages in the capital, Tehran and several other major cities, were partly due to the energy-intensive activities.

– CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal and Natasha Turak contributed to this report.

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