Riot Blockchain, Coinbase and other crypto-focused stocks trade higher as Tesla’s Elon Musk hints the digital currency will be accepted when it’s mined cleaner.
Riot Blockchain (RIOT) – Get Report, Coinbase Global (COIN) and other cryptocurrency-focused stocks traded higher Monday as the price of Bitcoin jumped after Elon Musk said Tesla (TSLA) – Get Report will allow transactions once the digital currency is more cleanly mined.
Riot Blockchain shares were up nearly 7%, while shares of Marathon Digital (MARA) – Get Report were up 7.5% and shares of Bit Digital (BTBT) – Get Report were up 9.3% after Musk said in a tweet that he wants miners to use about 50% clean energy.
Other crypto-focused and crypto-exposed companies’ shares were also trading higher, with Ebang (EBON) – Get Report up nearly 5%, payments firm Square (SQ) – Get Report up 1.1% and Tesla itself up 0.7%. In Europe, Argo Blockchain was up 6.9%, Arcane Crypto was up 2.5% and Northern Data was up 2.5%.
Bitcoin was up nearly 10% early Monday at $39,208, near a two-week high after surging on Sunday. Ethereum was also up more than 5% at $2,481.30.
“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions,” Musk said in a tweet on Sunday.
The tweet was in a response to another post suggesting Musk’s recent back-and-forth positions on Bitcoin were “market manipulation,” and that his comments should have prompted an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts also took it as a sign that Musk still sees a future for wider Bitcoin adoption after he criticized the digital currency for being an energy hog and relying too much on fossil fuels.
It is unclear how Musk will fact-check Bitcoin miners‘ clean energy usage as there is widespread debate over where the industry currently stands. Even so, the comments provide a first benchmark for reinstating Bitcoin payments at Tesla.
Musk’s tweet also reiterated his defense of having sold 10% of the electric vehicle maker’s Bitcoin stash in the first quarter, which it bought for $1.5 billion, implying that the company hasn’t sold any more.