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Tesla has invested $1.5 billion into, according to an SEC filing today.
"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," the filing said. The filing added that Tesla expects to begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for its products, including its cars, in the near future.
Bitcoin's price has shot up on the news, rising from $39,000 to $43,000 at press time—breaking a new all-time high.
Experts judged the move unsurprising, while conceding it was a major development for the cryptocurrency. "People have basically just been waiting for the moment that Elon Musk would announce one of his companies has allocated part of their treasury assets to Bitcoin," said Guy Hirsch, managing director for US at eToro.
Hirsch also noted that news of Tesla's Bitcoin play emerged mere days after the recent MicroStrategy WorldNow conference, aimed at enticing institutional investors into Bitcoin. At the event, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said he expected an "avalanche of companies" converting their balance sheets into Bitcoin. "It's further proof that the smart money is still buying Bitcoin even when many others were shedding BTC holdings as it continued to trade sideways," said Hirsch.
"Musk and Tesla move markets in a way few others can, and this may be the point where we look back and realize Bitcoin went mainstream," he added.
The filing says that Tesla updated its investment policy in January in order to diversify its cash on hand and maximize returns. Its policy says that it may invest its reserves into digital assets, gold, gold ETFs and other assets. It was with this new policy in mind that it invested heavily into Bitcoin.
Michael Saylor extended offer to Elon Musk
Tesla's Bitcoin purchase comes just over a month after MicroStrategy's Saylor extended an invitation to Elon Musk, offering to show him his playbook for buying Bitcoin. "If you want to do your shareholders a $100 billion favor, convert the $TSLA balance sheet from USD to #BTC. Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead & in time it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor," Saylor said at the time.
Musk replied, asking, "Are such large transactions even possible?" It's likely he was referring to whether it's possible to buy such large amounts of Bitcoin, not in terms of sending large Bitcoin transactions.
It wasn't long before Musk started tweeting a lot more about cryptocurrency. On January 29, he changed his Twitter bio to just one word: #Bitcoin. He later confirmed on Clubhouse that he was now a "supporter of Bitcoin."
"I am late to the party but a supporter," he told his audience. "Bitcoin is on the verge of getting broad acceptance by traditional finance people."
Musk has also been tweeting about Dogecoin with some regularity, from memes to comments that it will be the future currency of earth. While the price of Dogecoin pumped as a result of Musk's "joking" tweets, it seems like his heart—and Tesla's pocketbook—was focused on Bitcoin, after all.
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