Feb 8, 2021 - Economy

Tesla buys $1.5 billion in bitcoin, will start accepting the cryptocurrency as payment


Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tesla has bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and will begin accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its products, the company announced in an SEC filing Monday.

Why it matters: Tesla would be the first automaker to accept bitcoin for payments, with the $1.5 billion purchase giving the company liquidity in the cryptocurrency once it starts allowing people to use it to buy products, per CNBC.

  • Shares of Tesla were up more than 2.5% percent in pre-market trading following the news, while the price of bitcoin surged to a record high of at least $44,200.

What they're saying: The move will allow Tesla to operate "with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash," the company wrote in the filing.

Yes, but: The news "raised immediate questions around CEO Elon Musk’s behavior on Twitter recent weeks," CNBC writes. Musk, who has faced SEC scrutiny for his tweets in the past, has encouraged people to invest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and dogecoin on the platform.

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