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Tesla willing to accept Bitcoin if miners utilise clean energy

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Pretoria-born billionaire Elon Musk has once again pushed the price of Bitcoin up after tweeting that Tesla will resume accepting payments using the digital currency when crypto-currency mining uses more clean energy.

The outspoken businessman provided an update today in a tweet about whether Tesla would in future again accept payments using Bitcoin.

This is the third time in recent months that Bitcoin prices have been impacted after the billionaire commented on the crypto-currency. In February, the digital currency surged after Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, sending the digital currency up from $38 000 to $54 000, a 42% gain.

Today, Musk tweeted: “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”

Bitcoin, the world’s largest crypto-currency by market capitalisation, jumped to $39 360 from $35 000, just hours after the tweet.

Musk, who is CEO of Tesla, announced in May that the electric car manufacturer had suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin amid concerns about the increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining.

“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk tweeted at the time.

The digital currency fell to a three-month low after Musk’s tweet.

Meanwhile, Luno, another global crypto-currency company, hit a major milestone last week, recording eight million customers (wallets), with one million added in only 12 weeks.

The company, founded in 2013 by South Africans Marcus Swanepoel and Timothy Stranex, now has offices in South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore and the UK, employing more than 400 employees.

Luno says the business has grown rapidly due to ongoing interest in crypto-currencies.

“Within five years of launching the business, Luno had built a one million customer base in November 2017. Less than a year later, we had five million. The speed at which we are reaching new milestones is remarkable − it has taken just nine months to add three million more wallets,” says Marius Reitz, GM for Africa at Luno.

“About 30% of Luno’s customer base is in South Africa and we have added over 300 000 new wallets in the country over the past three months. We were the first company to enable South Africans and Nigerians to buy crypto with their local currency, which made access safe and easy.

“Although we operate in over 40 countries, Luno views Africa as one of, if not the most, promising region for the adoption of crypto-currencies due to its particular combination of economics and demographics.”

Luno says it is targeting a billion customers by 2030.

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