Tesla, the world’s most valuable electric car maker, reported on Monday that it had invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin this year and plans to accept the digital currency as a form of payment for its vehicles, boosting the cryptocurrency’s price to a new record high of $44,000.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (SEC), Tesla said the bitcoin acquisition is part of a new investment policy that aims to “provide us with more flexibility to diversify and further maximize the return on our cash.”
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is an enthusiastic promoter of digital currencies and, after he called dogecoin “the people’s cryptocurrency” in a series of Twitter messages this month, its value jumped nearly 60%.
Today’s announcement indicates that Tesla has the option to place cash funds in “certain alternative reserve assets” that include “digital assets, gold, exchange-traded gold funds and other specified assets in the future.”
Tesla’s acceptance of bitcoin-denominated transactions may help the cryptocurrency retain both value and exchange volume, analysts say.
The investment made in the last month makes Tesla one of the largest companies with investments in bitcoin and allowing payments via the digital asset created just 12 years ago. Other large companies have shown interest in bitcoin and payment through virtual assets as part of their financial operations.
In November, PayPal opened its cryptocurrency platform to all consumers in the United States after a trial period restricted to certain investors.
So far in 2021 bitcoin quotes are up 50 %, compared to a 3.5 % gain in the Standard & Poo index, and 1.8 % in the Dow Jones index, while the Nasdaq Index is up 7.5 % and gold prices are down 3.5 %.