Cryptoverse: solar energy, Luna coin

STORY: This is Crypto Weekly, with your top stories on alternative currencies. This week, Tesla’s bid to turn bitcoins green, and why Honduras could be the place to spend your virtual money.

Tesla is charging up the crypto market again. The EV-maker is teaming up with payments firm Block and others to mine bitcoin in Texas using solar power. Tesla will provide the infrastructure and batteries.

Reuters crypto correspondent Tom Wilson:

“For the most part, bitcoin miners rely on fossil fuels such as coal for the energy that's needed to create new bitcoin. That's a real headache for investors, many of whom are a bit worried about being associated with an asset that they see as environmentally unfriendly or contributing to climate change.”

Meanwhile, bitcoin might be turning into a kind of reserve currency for the crypto world. Seoul-based Terraform Labs and affiliate Luna Foundation Guard are building up a stash that could eventually total $10 billion. That’s to back a so-called “stablecoin”, which is meant to be less volatile than some virtual money.

Such coins are usually backed by dollar reserves, but Terraform reckons the world is ready for a "bitcoin standard" - a digital update for the "gold standard" that once underpinned international finance.

And Honduras is the latest place to make bitcoin legal tender. Or at least cryptocurrencies will be accepted in one tourist hotspot. The special economic zone there will also allow firms and local governments to issue bitcoin bonds.

Back in September, neighboring El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender.