Tesla has now started to officially accept Bitcoin as a payment method to purchase its vehicles after investing in the cryptocurrency just a few weeks ago.
Last month, Tesla announced that it changed its investment policy to start adding cryptocurrency and gold to its holding.
Most notably, the company confirmed that the change in policy included a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoins:
In January 2021, we updated our investment policy to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity. As part of the policy, which was duly approved by the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors, we may invest a portion of such cash in certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future. Thereafter, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin under this policy and may acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term.
Along with the large investment in Bitcoin, Tesla also announced that it was looking to start accepting the cryptocurrency as a payment method in its business operation.
A few weeks later, CEO Elon Musk has announced that Tesla is now indeed accepting payment in Bitcoin:
The CEO wasn’t joking as a “bitcoin” option appears as a payment option when placing the $100 refundable order fee for a new vehicle order:
Tesla started implementing a small non-refundable order fee a few years ago to avoid people tempering with its ordering process.
The price of Bitcoin surged following Tesla’s original announcement in February, and the price increased by another $1,000+ after today’s announcement:
For Tesla, the move is expected to help sales by attracting some of the people who made fortunes with the cryptocurrency to the brand.
However, the automaker has also been criticized for going against its mission with this investment in Bitcoin due to the high energy use associated with mining the cryptocurrency, maintaining the blockchain, and making transactions.
On the other hand, some have argued that Bitcoin could actually prove to be a vessel for renewable energy investments as green sources of electricity are becoming cheaper than fossil fuel-powered sources.
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