Bitcoin price spike as Elon Musk’s Tesla ‘likely’ to accept cryptocurrency as payment

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The billionaire entrepreneur – and Tesla Chief Executive Officer – today hinted at the radical shift, which would come into force once the company conducts due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency. Bitcoin spiked to £23,452.16, while ether surged 11.6 percent to £1453.62 after his remarks.

Tesla’s shares were down 0.8 percent at £477.86 in extended trading.

Mr Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s biggest digital currency for payment.

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He said: ”I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 percent, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.

“Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.”

The use of bitcoin to buy Tesla’s electric vehicles had highlighted a dichotomy between Mr Musk’s reputation as an environmentalist and the use of his popularity and stature as one of the world’s richest people to back cryptocurrencies.

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Some Tesla investors, along with environmentalists, have been increasingly critical about the way bitcoin is “mined” using vast amounts of electricity generated with fossil fuels.

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He added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin, apart from bitcoin that Tesla and SpaceX owned.

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Mr Musk explained: “I might pump, but I don’t dump.

“I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling.

“I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”

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Bitcoin in recent weeks had been locked in a relatively tight trading range, after investors sold heavily in May and June following a crackdown by China on cryptocurrency mining and trading.

Financial watchdogs and central bankers in the West recently have also called for tighter regulation.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told regulators on Monday that the US government must move quickly to establish a regulatory framework for stablecoins, a rapidly growing class of digital currencies.

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Bitcoin yesterday fell to its lowest in almost a month, slumping below $30,000 (£21876.91) as regulators continued calls for tighter checks on cryptocurrencies.

The drop took its losses for the month to around 15 percent.

It had fallen by more than half since hitting a peak of almost $65,000 (£47399.97) in April.

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