The EV automaker has also invested $1.5 in the cryptocurrency.
Following the Bitcoin boom of 2017, the cryptocurrency has been making moves again recently. And now Tesla has given it another jolt, having invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The cryptocurrency's value increased by almost 13 percent as a result.
Equally important, Tesla announced that it will soon begin accepting Bitcoin as a payment for its products, including vehicles like the newly updated Model S and Model X, thus making it the only automaker doing this - for now. However, this will be done "initially on a limited basis" though the carmaker has not elaborated further. Nor did it provide a precise Bitcoin payment start date, only saying it'll be in the "near future."
Tesla claims its Bitcoin purchase will give it "more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash." It will also give Tesla liquidity in Bitcoin once it begins accepting it as payment. Tesla's massive Bitcoin purchase was really just a drop in the bucket since it has a serious amount of cash on hand these days, totaling over $19 billion. Being the world's most valuable automaker and Musk the newly crowned wealthiest person on the planet has countless perks.
Some industry and financial market analysts are eyeing Musk's latest actions with some suspicion because of his recent cryptocurrency statements on Twitter. He has promoted both Bitcoin and Dogecoin on the social media platform.
Musk and the SEC have had a tumultuous relationship in the past. In 2018, the SEC charged him with fraud for his tweets about taking Tesla private at $420 a share. A settlement was ultimately reached months later that involved Musk stepping down as chairman of the automaker and a $40 million fine, half of which he had to pay.
It remains to be seen whether Tesla is setting a new industry trend where other mainstream automakers will follow it into the world of Bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies. Tesla and Musk have already changed this industry once by making EVs mainstream and cool. Cryptocurrency could be how it'll do so again.