Elon Musk has announced that you can now buy a new Tesla with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin erupted back in 2017 and those who invested early and kept their Bitcoins were rewarded handsomely. Some dealerships almost immediately began accepting the cryptocurrency as payment and a few automakers began to seriously explore the idea as well. Last month, Tesla said it'll soon begin accepting Bitcoin as payment and it's remained true to its word.
CEO Elon Musk has just announced on Twitter that US customers can now buy a newly updated Tesla Model S and the rest of the lineup with Bitcoin. He added that the automaker "is using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly. Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency." For those who don't know, "fiat currency" is a government-issued paper currency like the US dollar. They are not backed by gold or another commodity.
Musk added that customers outside of the US will have a Bitcoin payable option later this year. It's somewhat odd for Tesla not to convert Bitcoin back to USD because it pays the cost of manufacturing vehicles and other related expenses in USD. This means Tesla won't be able to recognize Bitcoin as income.
Earlier this year, Tesla converted $1.5 billion to Bitcoin, likely in preparation for today's announcement. Tesla's official website has already been updated to handle Bitcoin payments and the Support page has several Q&As listed. For example, if a buyer does not send the correct amount their order could be canceled. Delivery delays could happen if a buyer fails to send the exact amount due for the final payment.
Processing the payment once it's been sent from the buyer's digital wallet takes only about a minute, though an email confirmation may not arrive for six hours. And then there's this extremely important piece of info: deposits are not refundable when ordering with Bitcoin. It'll be interesting to observe Tesla's venture into Bitcoin and whether other mainstream automakers will soon follow.
The world's most valuable automaker has taken many chances before and, quite clearly, those risks have paid off big time. For now, Bitcoin is the sole cryptocurrency being accepted but Musk previously said he's interested in Dogecoin. Who knows what'll come next.