Tesla purchases $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, announces plans to accept them as payment

Tesla purchases $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, announces plans to accept them as payment
© Greg Nash

Tesla has purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and plans on accepting the cryptocurrency as payment soon, The Associated Press reports.

The AP reported on Monday that Tesla CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskAs inflation and government debt surge, Washington is ignoring our most critical economic crisis Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Musk says Tesla likely to accept bitcoin again MORE disclosed the company’s investment in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, saying its purchases of “alternative reserve assets” may grow.

The value of Bitcoin rose to a new all-time high of $43,863, the AP reports, with shares of Tesla also rising by about 2 percent following the news. Tesla is currently valued at around $820 billion.

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The AP notes that although more companies have come to embrace Bitcoin in the last few years, its actual use has not changed much since it debuted in 2017. It is still mostly used by people who do not trust the current banking system, criminals laundering money and by entities looking to store value.

Tesla is not the first company to make a large Bitcoin buy-in, the AP notes, with Virginia-based company MicroStrategy Inc. announcing last August that it would be investing in the currency. The 71,079 Bitcoins the company initially bought at $1.15 billion are currently valued at around $3.06 billion.

However, the value of Bitcoin has fluctuated, the AP notes. When it first debuted in December 2017 it was valued at an unprecedented $19,300, but within a year its value had dropped down to under $4,000. The value has soared in recent months, recently rising above $40,000 for the first time.