Tesla starts accepting Bitcoin as payment for cars, Musk says

by BLOOMBERG

Having stunned the market with its audacious bet on Bitcoin earlier this year, Tesla Inc. will now start accepting the world’s largest electronic currency as payment for its electric cars.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk on Wednesday tweeted that “you can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin” and that paying by Bitcoin will also be available to customers outside the U.S. later this year. He added that Tesla will only use internal and open-source software and that any Bitcoin paid to the company will be retained as Bitcoin and not converted to a fiat currency.

California-based Tesla disclosed its $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin in February and signaled its intent to begin accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment at the time, sending prices to a record. The world’s leading EV maker made the Bitcoin bet after updating its investment policy in January to allow it to buy digital assets.

In addition to lending increased legitimacy to electronic currencies, Musk’s embrace of Bitcoin fits his maverick image. The billionaire has often tweeted about cryptocurrency-related topics and recently called Bitcoin “a good thing” in an interview. Dogecoin, the once tongue-in-cheek digital currency, also soared to records in February after Musk, rapper Snoop Dogg and Kiss bassist Gene Simmons tweeted about it.