Having experienced significant turbulence, bitcoin spiked from its 2021 low point, reaching a value of $34,000 from the earlier figure of $29,000, the latter a result of a series of price crashes.
Trends suggest that the cryptocurrency will continue increasing in value, whilst other digital coins such as etherium, cardano and dogecoin are also suggesting upwards movement.
The upwards trends – bolstered earlier this week by the announcement that Tesla founder Elon Musk suggested he would restart trading in bitcoin – has seen the overall cryptocurrency market grow by over £200 million.
Musk’s comments referenced the recent controversy surrounding bitcoin’s carbon footprint, with the CEO writing on Twitter: “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with a positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing bitcoin transactions.”
Key investors also seem to be convinced of the market’s prospects, as dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus also revealed on Twitter that he had invested in the cryptocurrency for the first time in eight years, whilst MicoStrategy has made a $0.5 billion investment in bitcoin.
Additionally, although energy consumption concerns have affected bitcoin’s value, the United Nations has supported the use of blockchain as a means of fighting climate change, pointing to the technology’s transparency.
Writing in a recent UN report, Minang Acharya, one of the authors of a UNEP foresight brief on the applications of blockchain, commented: “The UN should continue experimenting in the blockchain space. The more we experiment, the more we learn about the technology.
“This is likely to improve our UN-wide knowledge on blockchain, our understanding of the environmental and social implications of mining operations, and improve our chances of coping with any problems the technology may bring in the future”.
Bitcoin’s mainstream acceptance was also further enhanced , when President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced that his nation would become the first to leverage the crypto currency as legal tender.
In a statement at the Miami bitcoin conference, he expressed hope that the decision would strengthen the El Salvadoran economy, saying: “In the short term, this will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy, and in the medium and long term, we hope that this small decision can help us push humanity at least a tiny bit into the right direction.
“Financial inclusion is not only a moral imperative but also a way to grow the country’s economy, providing access to credit, savings, investment and secure transactions.
“We hope that this decision will be just the beginning in providing a space where some of the leading innovators can reimagine the future of finance.”
Meanwhile, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) urged consumers to practice caution when investing in the digital currency market, describing it as ‘largely unregulated’, although the regulator acknowledged that the majority of users reported a positive experience with crypto-investing.
Increased regulatory oversight of the sector has led to three leading crypto-firms – Coinbase, Fidelity Investments and Square – joining forces to create the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI), an industry lobbying group.