Bitcoin Price Update As Tesla Causes Cryptocurrency to Spike

The price of Bitcoin passed $57,000 on Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap, which monitors cryptocurrencies.

This was an increase of more than 2 percent in 24 hours. It reached as high as $57,255 on March 24, according to CoinMarketCap.

The price of Bitcoin has risen sharply in recent months, especially since early February when Tesla announced it had invested around $1.5 billion in the currency.

Bitcoin has increased from about $6,656 on March 25, 2020, to a high of $59,972 on March 14 this year, according to CoinMarketCap,

The latest price rise came as Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, tweeted on Wednesday: "You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin."

He added in another tweet that the electric car company was "using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly. Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency."

Tesla customers outside the U.S. would be able to use Bitcoin "later this year," Musk added.

Bitcoin is the world's largest cryptocurrency by market cap value, which is "the total market value of a cryptocurrency's circulating supply," according to CoinMarketCap.

To buy a car using Bitcoin, customers should "initiate payment from your Bitcoin wallet," Tesla says on its website. "You can either scan the QR code or copy and paste the Bitcoin address and the exact Bitcoin amount into your wallet."

Once the cryptocurrency is sent from the wallet, the page will refresh within a minute. Tesla will email the customer a confirmation once the payment has been received. "This can take up to six hours to process," Tesla says.

"To ensure timely processing of your order, send the exact amount in a single Bitcoin payment," the company advises.

Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency accepted by Tesla.

You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021

In late January, the price of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that began as a joke in 2013, hit record levels following a tweet by Musk.

The price climbed further in early February after more Twitter posts from Musk, rapper Snoop Dogg and musicians Gene Simmons from Kiss and Kevin Jonas from Jonas Brothers.

In early February, Mastercard announced that it would "start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on our network" this year, as it prepares "for the future of crypto and payments."

The card firm already offers "crypto cards," created last year in partnership with Wirex and BitPay. These allow customers to make transactions using cryptocurrencies, which are converted to a government-issued currency before the funds reach the seller.

Mastercard's latest plan would allow customers to pay directly in cryptocurrencies, a source told Coindesk.

The company said in a statement: "Mastercard isn't here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value—traditional or crypto—however they want. It should be your choice, it's your money.

"Doing this work will create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment."

Bitcoin Netherlands March 2021
An illustration of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency's price passed $57,000 on March 24. Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images