The price of bitcoin surged above US$38,000 after Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk mentioned the cryptocurrency on his Twitter profile. Musk’s bio on Twitter simply said #bitcoin with no further explanation, but speculation that the world’s richest man might be a Bitcoin investor was enough to set off a dramatic rally. Prices spiked as much as 15% in a matter of minutes, the biggest intraday move in almost a year. Bitcoin pared gains later in the London trading day.
Bitcoin trades above $37,500.
The leading cryptocurrency bitcoin was up 11 percent to US$37,578 at the time of writing, after jumping as high as US$38,089. “This huge melt-up is due to Elon’s tweet,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner and co-founder of Nexo in London, which bills itself as the world’s biggest crypto lender. Musk’s support for Bitcoin “creates a safe zone for some of the smaller companies and possibly everyone in the S&P 500 to allocate into Bitcoin,” he said. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, briefly suspended withdrawals on Friday to address a large increase in requests.
“It’s just all our systems are under stress.”
“It’s just all our systems are under stress,” said Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao. “Our system couldn’t generate new addresses fast enough to match new users coming in.” Traders trying to read between Musk’s tweets’ lines interpreted his cryptic messages as support for Bitcoin and Dogecoin, a digital coin originally created as a joke. Dogecoin prices skyrocketed higher on Friday, jumping about 300 percent in the last 24 hours to US$0.04355, according to CoinMarketCap data. Earlier this month, Elon Musk had agreed with a post referencing being paid in Bitcoin, and when someone asked if he owned any Dogecoin, he replied, “No, but maybe one day.”