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Riot Blockchain and Crypto Stocks Rise on Bitcoin Bounce

Riot Blockchain, Coinbase and other crypto-focused stocks trade higher as Tesla's Elon Musk hints the digital currency will be accepted when it's mined cleaner.

Riot Blockchain  (RIOT) - Get Report, Coinbase Global  (COIN)  and other cryptocurrency-focused stocks traded higher Monday as the price of Bitcoin jumped after Elon Musk said Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report will allow transactions once the digital currency is more cleanly mined.

Riot Blockchain shares were up more than 16%, while shares of Marathon Digital  (MARA) - Get Report were up 15.78% and shares of Bit Digital  (BTBT) - Get Report were up 11.96% after Musk said in a tweet that he wants miners to use about 50% clean energy.

Other crypto-focused and crypto-exposed companies’ shares were also trading higher, with Ebang  (EBON) - Get Report up nearly 10%, payments firm Square  (SQ) - Get Report up 2.97% and Tesla itself up 1.93%. In Europe, Argo Blockchain was up 6.9%, Arcane Crypto was up 2.5% and Northern Data was up 2.5%.

Bitcoin was up nearly 13%, at $40.601, topping the $40,000 mark for the first time in two weeks after surging on Sunday. Ethereum was also up more than 8% at $2,560.45.

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"When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions," Musk said in a tweet on Sunday.

The tweet was in a response to another post suggesting Musk's recent back-and-forth positions on Bitcoin were “market manipulation,” and that his comments should have prompted an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts also took it as a sign that Musk still sees a future for wider Bitcoin adoption after he criticized the digital currency for being an energy hog and relying too much on fossil fuels. 

It is unclear how Musk will fact-check Bitcoin miners‘ clean energy usage as there is widespread debate over where the industry currently stands. Even so, the comments provide a first benchmark for reinstating Bitcoin payments at Tesla.

Musk's tweet also reiterated his defense of having sold 10% of the electric vehicle maker's Bitcoin stash in the first quarter, which it bought for $1.5 billion, implying that the company hasn't sold any more.