The price of bitcoin jumped and flirted with $40,000 after Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk tweeted that his company will accept payment in bitcoin again once the cryptocurrency uses more clean energy.
“Tesla only sold ~10% of holdings to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market,” Musk tweeted on 13 June.
“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”
Prior to his tweet at 6:42pm BST, the price of the digital currency was $37,230, according to Coindesk. It then jumped up and peaked at $39,794 in the 24 hours up to 7:30am on 14 June, a two-week high.
In May, Musk had said Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin for purchases because of its carbon footprint, causing the price of the cryptocurrency to tumble. Later that same month, he softened his position as bitcoin miners in North America said they would publish updates on their renewable energy use, something Musk tweeted was “promising”.
Crypto advocates such as Ark fund manager Cathie Wood said recently it is now “impossible” to halt the advance of bitcoin as an investment asset and form of technological innovation within the payments industry.
“Elon probably got a few calls from institutions,” Wood said, in comments reported by Coindesk from the news site’s own cryptocurrency conference on 27 May.
“I noticed that BlackRock is [Tesla]’s number three shareholder and Larry Fink is the CEO. He is focused on ESG and especially on climate change. I’m sure BlackRock registered some complaints and perhaps there are some very large holders in Europe who are extremely sensitive to this.”
Musk’s tweets also come as cryptocurrencies face increased scrutiny from regulators, triggering additional volatility in the prices.
On 10 June, the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision launched a consultation on the prudential treatment of financial institutions’ cryptoasset exposure amid a spike in institutional interest. The regulator called for tougher capital rules, raising financial stability concerns.
As of 7:31am BST, the price of bitcoin was $39,285.
To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim