Tesla buys $1.5 billion in bitcoin, plans to accept it as payment


February 10, 2021: On Monday, Tesla announced that it had bought worth of $1.5 billion bitcoin.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it bought the bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash,” the company said.

Tesla will accept payments in bitcoin in exchange for its products “subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis,” said Tesla. That makes Tesla the significant and first automaker to do.

The $1.5 billion of bitcoin will provide Tesla liquidity in the cryptocurrency once it accepts it for payments.

Tesla’s move into bitcoin shows an investment of a significant percentage of its cash in the investment. According to its most recent filing, the company had above $19 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand in the later 2020.

The moves led to the questions around CEO Elon Musk’s behavior recently on Twitter, where he has been credited for raising the rates of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and dogecoin by posting positive messages encouraged people to buy digital currencies.

Two weeks ago, Tesla added the hashtag #bitcoin to his Twitter bio, which helped to push up the cryptocurrency price by 20% briefly.

Bitcoin prices surged to new highs on Monday after Tesla’s announcement, reaching a cost of $44,200 at least. Tesla shares were up over 2% on Monday. In its SEC filing, Tesla warned investors of the volatility of bitcoin’s price.

Elon Musk got into trouble for his market-moving tweets in the past, but it’s not clear how that applies to his tweets about cryptocurrencies. Most notably, the SEC charged Musk with fraud in 2018 for his tweets about taking the company private at $420 per share.

He finally settled with the SEC, gave up his role forcefully as chairman of the company’s board, and paid a $20 million fine on top of another $20 million fine for the company itself.

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