Back

Bitcoin price back above $30k: Energy-efficient future on the agenda

Elon Musk is at it again, doing what he managed to successfully do in May – moving markets via social media influence.

Today, after $200 billion was wiped off the value of some of the most popular cryptocurrencies earlier this week, Elon Musk returned to his keyboard and stated that Tesla could soon begin accepting payments in bitcoin once again.

“There appears to be a positive trend in the energy usage of bitcoin” and then added that that Tesla will reopen crypto payments when renewable energy is “at or above 50 per cent and that there is a trend towards increasing that number”.

Bitcoin is now back above $30,000 today after once again testing the key $29,000 support level, and Elon Musk is now putting out that he has been not only accumulating Dogecoin – the meme currency that he has been a staunch proponent of for some time now – but also Ethereum.

Bitcoin’s prices are, predictably, up again partly due to this influencer-style method which is now being followed and has attracted millions of new traders and investors in cryptocurrency who seek to ride the waves of volatility when they come, however there is another point of interest, that being the Bitcoin-related infrastructure that is being planned.

El Salvador, the country which became the very first in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, is planning to build Bitcoin mining facilities fueled by geothermal energy.

With the banning of cryptocurrency mining by the Chinese government, and the dumping of mining rigs by many Chinese miners who have either moved their operations abroad, given up mining altogether or sold their graphics cards and rigs on the second hand market, the mining ecosystem is undergoing a massive change.

Chinese miners may well have been the most intensive in the world, fueled partly by cheap or free electricity, and partly by massive opportunity before the government swept in, however the future of cryptocurrency infrastructure lies within regulated frameworks with government approval, and El Salvador, now a country whose national currency is Bitcoin, is a great place to begin the evolution of energy saving Bitcoin mining rigs.

The country’s planned mining factories are set to use energy from geothermal wells that lie beneath volcanos.

Engineers have dug a new well which intends to provide 95 megawatts of clean, zero emissions energy and the country’s president intends to build a fully functional mining infrastructure around them.

The energy-hungry method by which Bitcoin is mined has been one of the elements used by Elon Musk in his initial criticism, his tweet in May causing a massive decline in the value of five popular cryptocurrencies.

If this can be solved as more countries go down the route of accepting cryptocurrencies as regulated instruments and invest in ecologically sound infrastructure, that argument would become obsolete, and the predictions of experts such as the panel of 42 professionals who have predicted that Bitcoin will soon outpace the US Dollar as the most used currency worldwide may well not be so wild after all.