THE price of Bitcoin has temporarily stabilised after Elon Musk’s $1.5 billion saw the cryptocurrency’s value rocket.
A single Bitcoin is currently worth $44,500 on the cryptocurrency markets as investors raced to take advantage of an inevitable post-Musk surge.
In a statement earlier this week, Tesla revealed it would soon accept payments in Bitcoin, and the world’s richest man admitted the firm had made a massive investment of its own in the surging online currency.
Crypto-market watchers now believe a wave of Silicon Valley billion-dollar investments could spark another surge, with Twitter among several companies rumoured to be planning a Tesla-style share purchase.
Meanwhile another tweet from Musk sent another cryptocurrency soaring after he described the once-mocked Dogecoin currency as “the future”.
The coin, which began as a joke in 2013, has surged in value by 1,250% over the past year after a huge number of investors decided to simultaneously pump cash into the coin to make it a legit trading option.
Follow the latest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news on our rolling live blog below..
YANG SAYS HE’LL MAKE NY A BITCOIN ‘HUB’
Andrew Yang has said he will make New York a ‘hub’ for bitcoin if elected.
He made the announcement in a tweet posted Thursday evening but didn’t announce any specific policy measures.
The former Democratic presidential hopeful has also previously advocated blockchain voting.
NAVALNY GETS $300K IN BITCOIN DONATIONS
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s movement has received bitcoin donations worth nearly $300,000 this year.
His anti-Kremlin movement has accepted donations in bitcoin since 2016 via its network of regional political headquarters, an attempt to make it harder for Russia’s intelligence services to track and potentially disrupt its funding.
Navalny made headlines in January after he returned to Russia for the first time since being poisoned in Siberia last summer.
He was arrested and last week handed a nearly three-year jail term in a case he says was politically-motivated.
BITCOIN HITS NEW HIGH AFTER MORE ACCEPTANCE
Bitcoin hit a record high after two major US financial institutions announced they would accept cryptocurrency.
Mastercard said on Wednesday that later this year it would begin moving cryptocurrencies directly across its card payments network.
Then on Thursday, Wall Street player BNY Mellon announced plans to accept digital currencies.
The announcements helped to push the price of a single bitcoin above $48,000 for the first time.
US ‘OLDEST BANK’ TO ACCEPT BITCOIN
Bitcoin and other crypto currencies took another leap towards the financial mainstream when Wall Street player BNY Mellon announced plans to accept digital currencies.
BNY Mellon, which is known as the oldest US bank, said it will form a new digital assets unit to transfer, safeguard and issue digital assets in response to client demand.
The move comes as bitcoin values continue to climb to new heights after receiving a legitimacy boost when Tesla and Mastercard announced they would accept the digital currency.
UBER WON’T BUY BITCOIN WITH CORPORATE CASH
Uber’s CEO has “quickly dismissed” the idea of buying bitcoin with corporate cash.
Darah Khosrwoshahi told CNBC Thursday the company planned to keep its cash safe, as it wasn’t “in the speculation business”.
However, he left open the possibility of Uber eventually accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.
“Just like we accept all kinds of local currency, we are going to look at cryptocurrency and/or bitcoin in terms of currency to transact,” he said.
Khosrwoshahi said this kind of move was “good for business”.
TESLA PURCHASE PROMPTS MOVEMENT FROM BITCOIN WHALES
Tesla’s recent exploration of the crypto realm is believed to be prompting movement from bitcoin whales; individuals or entities who hold huge amounts of the cryptocurrency.
An anonymous crypto user moved 2,292 BTC from crypto exchange, Coinbase to an unknown wallet today, Finance Magnates reported.
The total value of the transaction stood at around $101.8 million.
Whale traders can influence markets by transferring the currency from exchanges to wallets, in an effort to create a supply shortage.
BITCOIN SURGES TO ALL-TIME HIGH AFTER BNY MELLON EMBRACES CRYPTOCURRENCIES
Bitcoin on Thursday jumped over 8% to an all-time high of $48,481 after Bank of NY Mellon said it had formed a new unit to help clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets.
The new unit at BNY Mellon, called the Digital Assets unit, is expected to roll out the offerings later this year, the bank said.
Bitcoin was last up 5.7% at $47,387.
BITCOIN COMING TO AMERICA’S OLDEST BANK
America’s oldest bank, the Bank of New York Mellon Corp., is making the leap into the market for cryptocurrencies.
The custody bank today said it would hold, transfer and issue bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its asset-management clients, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Digital assets are becoming part of the mainstream,” said Roman Regelman, chief executive of BNY Mellon’s asset-servicing and digital businesses.
The bank was reportedly discussing plans with clients to bring their digital currencies into the fold.
WHY IS MASTERCARD BRINGING BITCOIN ONTO ITS NETWORK?
Mastercard has announced it will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on its network, later this year.
A post on Mastercard Newsroom said the financial services corporation was “preparing right now for the future of crypto and payments”.
“Digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world,” the post explained.
The move was described as a “big change” that would require “a lot of work”.
“We will be very thoughtful about which assets we support based on our principles for digital currencies, which focus on consumer protections and compliance.”
PRICE JUMPS AFTER ELON MUSK’S VAGUE TWEET
The price of Bitcoin has jumped today after a vague tweet from Elon Musk featuring a picture of a crypto-themed ring and a reference to dodgecoin.
In the tweet, Musk said: “Frodo was the underdoge, All thought he would fail, Himself most of all.”
Meanwhile, bitcoin rose by $2,000 to trade around $46,102.22 by around 11am GMT.
It sat around $43,800 the previous day.
STOLEN ELECTRICITY USED FOR BITCOIN MINING
Police in the Malaysian state of Malacca have seized 700 servers which were using stolen electricity for bitcoin mining.
According to local news outlet The Sun Daily, Malacca police seized the servers at the two-storey shoplot at Pusat Perniagaan Pulau Sebang on Wednesday.
Police deputy chief Datuk Shahrul Lalli Masduki told the outlet the illegal activity was believed to have been going on for around two months.
Bitcoin mining is the process of creating new bitcoin, by solving a computational puzzle.
BITCOIN DISMISSED AS PAYMENT METHOD BY FINTECH GIANT
Fintech giant Adyen, the firm processing payments for the likes of Facebook and Uber, isn’t convinced bitcoin is a viable form of mainstream payment.
In an interview with CNBC, CEO Pieter van der Does said the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies made them less viable for making transactions.
“Bitcoin is more of an investment asset than a payment method,” Van der Does said in an interview on Wednesday.
“Bitcoin is more of an investment asset than a payment method,” Van der Does said.
INVESTORS SHOULD CONSIDER GOLD, TOP MINER SAYS
One of the world’s leading gold miners has said the rapid rise of cryptocurrencies should be a prompt for investors to consider buying gold.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Biswas told Bloomberg TV that Bullion may “act as a bit of a hedge against the volatility of cryptos.”
While the two assets were distinct, Biswas said they were complementary; owning bullion could benefit cryptocurrency holders as it was more stable.
“Gold is a different class of investment,” he said.
“It’s a tangible asset: you can see it, you can touch it, you can feel it, you can mold it, you can make it into jewelry, whatever you want.”
TWITTER CONSIDERING USE OF BITCOIN
Twitter’s chief financial officer has said the social networking service is considering whether to hold bitcoin on its balance sheet.
In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Segal said the company had been looking at whether it could pay vendors or employees using the cryptocurrency.
“We might consider whether we would be transferring dollars to bitcoin at the time of the transaction or if we wanted bitcoin on our balance sheet ready to complete that transaction,” Segal said.
The comments come just a couple of days after Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc revealed the automaker had bought US$1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency.
EXPERTS SAY THEY’RE CONCERNED ABOUT MOVE
Experts have also voiced concern about the difficulty of valuing the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency over the long-term after Tesla’s move.
“Elon Musk has exposed Tesla to immense mark-to-market risk,” Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank, wrote in a research note.
He was referring to an accounting method designed to measure the fair value of accounts – assets and liabilities – in order to provide a measure of current financial performance.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
A RISKY MOVE?
More on that last story now.
Shareholders have voiced concern that the investment by Tesla, which recently joined the benchmark S&P 500 stock index, could fuel more gyrations in the company’s shares.
“It will add volatility to the stock due to exposure to bitcoin,” said King Lip, chief strategist at Baker Avenue Wealth Management, whose firm has owned Tesla shares since 2015.
“This is better for bitcoin than it is for Tesla.”
Gary Black, former chief executive of Aegon Asset Management, has announced on Twitter that he’s sold his shares in Tesla.
He blamed this on the absence on a 2021 delivery target and the company’s ‘riskier’ capital allocation strategy, and tweeted: “$TSLA has always been higher risk, but investing $1.5B in #Bitcoin makes it more risky.”
INVESTORS QUESTION MUSK’S $1.5BN DECISION
Tesla investors are questioning whether Elon Musk’s $1.5bn outlay into bitcoin will be as good for the company as it has been for the cryptocurrency.
Tesla’s disclosure on Monday that it had moved nearly 8 per cent of its reserves into bitcoin sent the price of the cryptocurrency to all-time highs, up more than 16 per cent this week.
However, Tesla’s shares are down nearly 6 per cent.
Others may yet follow Tesla’s lead, with Twitter Inc’s chief financial officer telling CNBC that the company has considered adding bitcoin to its balance sheet.
NOTHING STOPPING GENERAL MOTORS TAKING BITCOIN
Chief Executive Mary Barra said if there is strong demand from customers to pay in bitcoin there’s nothing stopping the company doing that.
Responding to a question about accepting bitcoin as payment for vehicles she said: “This is something we’ll monitor and we’ll evaluate.
“If there’s strong customer demand for it in the future, there’s nothing that precludes us from doing that.”
But unlike Musk, Barra said “we don’t have any plans to invest in bitcoin. Full stop there”.
BITCOIN ‘CONSUMES MORE ELECTRICITY THAN ARGENTINA’
Bitcoin consumes more electricity annually than the whole of Argentina, Cambridge University researchers say.
The cryptocurrency requires power-hungry, heavy computer calculations to verify transactions and analysis has found it consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year, the BBC reports.
Michel Rauchs, researcher at The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, has co-created the online tool that generated the estimate.
It places Bitcoin’s electricity consumption above Argentina (121 TWh), the Netherlands (108.8 TWh) and the United Arab Emirates (113.20 TWh) – and it is creeping up on Norway (122.20 TWh).
BITCOIN ‘PRANKSTER’ OWNS UP
A Reddit user who claimed be a Tesla insider who knew about its purchase of bitcoin has said his assertions were not true.
The user’s original post drew little attention when it appeared on January 2 but it received a second look on Wednesday after Tesla and CEO Elon Musk disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in the cryptocurrency .
The user told the New York Post that he is in fact a prankster from Germany.
“If you want to know the truth: I am a young German guy and I was on acid while I did this post in the last month,” the Post quoted him as saying.
TWITTER TO INVEST IN BITCOIN?
Twitter has thought about whether to hold bitcoin on its balance sheet.
But it has not made any changes yet, the social media platform’s chief financial officer Ned Segal told CNBC on Wednesday.
Segal said Twitter had considered how it might pay vendors or employees using bitcoin, should they ask to transact using the virtual currency.
“We might consider whether we would be transferring dollars to bitcoin at the time of the transaction or if we wanted bitcoin on our balance sheet ready to complete that transaction,” he added.
Twitter top boss Jack Dorsey, who is also the chief executive of payments firm Square Inc, is a known bitcoin enthusiast and has said he believes the internet will have its own native currency.
BE CAUTIOUS BEFORE BUYING BITCOIN – YOU COULD LOSE ALL YOUR MONEY
Before investing in any cryptocurrency, you should be aware of all the risks involved.
Tesla founder Elon Musk helped push the value of a single Bitcoin to beyond $48,000 (£34,680) this week after revealing that the car maker has invested $1.5billion in the virtual coin.
But, their value is highly volatile and City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has warned investors should be prepared to lose all their money.
Investing in cryptocurrencies is not a guaranteed way to make money.
BITCOIN SLIPS IN WEDNESDAY TRADING
Bitcoin today dipped to $45,402 after setting a record close to $50,000 on Tuesday.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies.
US stocks struck fresh record highs Wednesday as trading got underway amid stimulus hopes, while oil prices hit 13-month highs.
Dealers remain upbeat about the chances of US President Joe Biden pushing through his $1.9trillion economic rescue package despite warnings that the move – along with an expected economic recovery – would fan inflation.
As trading got underway on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite all struck fresh records.
WHAT IS BITCOIN?
Bitcoin is a virtual currency – it’s traded between people without the help of a bank.
Every transaction is recorded in a public ledger, or “blockchain”.
Bitcoin can be traded anonymously, which can make it a popular way of funding illegal activities.
The value of Bitcoin fluctuates wildly.
WHAT CAN YOU BUY WITH BITCOIN?
There are almost 20,000 locations across the world where you can use the virtual currency in real-life shops and pubs as well as online, according to cryptocurrency website Coinmap.
You can already purchase Xbox games from the Microsoft Store using the cryptocurrency in the US, but this is not currently available in the UK.
The Royal National Lifeboat association will let you make donations using the cryptocurrency.
You can also buy pints at the Pembury Tavern in east London, once it reopens after lockdown or a seat on Virgin Galactic’s commercial space flights.
Property companies such as Gravity Co-Living in London will even let tenants pay their rent with Bitcoin.