Cryptocurrency prices surged as bitcoin is set to hit $50,000 per token, its highest since May of this year. Altcoins experienced a titanic surge of $300 billion over the weekend in a charge led by ethereum, dogecoin, and uniswap.

Market watchers say that this was expected following Ethereum’s much-anticipated upgrade last week, a move which is enabling it to surge ahead of bitcoin and fueling hopes for its long-awaited “flippening” against the market leader.

Bitcoin exceeds expectations

Over the past few weeks, Bitcoin’s market performance has improved significantly, rising from the $30,000 rut it was recently mired in.

According to BitBull Capital CEO Joe DiPasquale, the altcoin is presently in a critical range and, propelled by the impending legislation, could break out above $40,000.

Bracing against restrictive legislation

Ironically, altcoin values are going up even while the market is steeling itself for impending regulatory action by the US government. 

As of press time, Congress is on the verge of passing legislation that will put a tax on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The new legislation is said to be an addendum to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which, in various ways, is seen as controversial given critics’ claims that it will inhibit the further growth of the cryptocurrency scene in the US.

Over the past week, Congress amended it to include a provision that many in the industry feel will stop crypto mining/securing blockchains or prevent validating transactions in exchange for new tokens. However, a more recently proposed amendment states that it will exclude only proof-of-work mining (the act of selling real or digital assets to give individuals control of private keys to other NFTs).

Bitcoin has long used proof-of-work mining, but other cryptos like Binance BNB have also used a similar scheme to reward clients willing to risk their tokens. Indeed, Ethereum’s recent upgrade is a step further in its plan to switch from proof-of-work to a more viable proof-of-stake model.

Musk weighs in

The impact that such legislation will have on both the US and global cryptocurrency sectors has prompted one of its biggest supporters, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, to speak quite strongly regarding the issue.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a statement that crypto-specific provisions in the bill will prove disastrous for the industry. In response, Musk declared that now is not the time to pick out winners and losers and that Congress needs to do some more thinking before it passes the bill.

“There is no crisis that compels [immediate] legislation,” he said in a post on Twitter.

Other crypto supporters and proponents have also weighed in on the issue, with former Coinbase chief tech Balaji Srinivasan decrying the legislation as an underhand ban against bitcoin, and Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito referring to it as a ridiculous and potentially disastrous move.