Bitcoin’s price has climbed after Elon Musk said his electric car maker Tesla would “most likely” resume accepting the cryptocurrency.
It is the latest change of tack from the tech entrepreneur – after Tesla said earlier this year that it would accept Bitcoin for vehicle purchases but then in May that it would stop doing so.
Bitcoin rose 8% to more than $32,000 on the comments late on Wednesday, having suffered further volatility earlier this week that saw it tumble below $30,000.
Tesla’s decision to stop accepting Bitcoin had been prompted by concerns about the way the cryptocurrency is “mined” using vast amounts of energy generated from fossil fuels.
But Mr Musk sounded a more positive note when he spoke about the reasons behind the move at a conference.
“I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or
above 50%, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting Bitcoin,” he said.
“Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting Bitcoin.
“Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”
“We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin enjoyed a surge in value earlier this year but after peaking at $65,000 it has been through a volatile period – thanks to Tesla’s changing stance as well as the growing threat from regulation in China.
Figures published by the Financial Conduct Authority last month showed an estimated 2.3 million UK adults now hold cryptoassets such as Bitcoin – despite warnings of the risks involved.