On Tuesday morning, electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla unveiled its annual report, and buried there, without any sort of major announcement, was information that Tesla had decided to invest around $US1.5 billion ($AUD1.9 billion) in Bitcoin.
In the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla said the investment was “to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity.”
That was certainly more than enough to drive up Bitcoin shares, but Tesla had something else in store: “Moreover, we expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future.”
Yes, Tesla is now the first major automaker to accept Bitcoin as payment; apparently an entry-level Tesla Model 3 could set you back around 0.88 bitcoins at the currency’s current value.
The price of Bitcoin shot up past $56,000 and, for a brief moment, hit its highest point thus far.
In the past year alone, Bitcoin’s price has risen over 330 per cent. It’s doubled in market value in just the last two months, a rise that the richest man in the world has no doubt had a hand in. For months now, Musk has at least helped with the ups and downs in Bitcoin’s price – value moving almost at the whim of every mention the currency has had on Musk’s Twitter account.
And it’s not just Bitcoin. The once tongue-in-cheek cryptocurrency Dogecoin has been experiencing highs after plugs by the business magnate.