Elon Musk, Tesla Make a Billion-Dollar Bet on Bitcoin

Andreas Milano

Laughing all the way to the virtual bank.
Photo: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Internet mischief-maker, cryptocurrency enthusiast, and sometime world’s richest man Elon Musk has laid the groundwork for customers to buy one of his cars all in bitcoin soon.

Tesla said on Monday morning that it would acquire $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency. In a filing with the SEC notifying the agency of its purchase, the company said that it would “begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future.” The price of the cryptocurrency shot up by more than $5,000 on the news.

Earlier this month, Musk said on the app Clubhouse that bitcoin was a “good thing” that was “really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people.” The comments lent more legitimacy to the currency, whose value has soared in recent months. Musk is also a fan of more obscure cryptocurrencies; he has recently boosted dogecoin, which began as a meme-based joke, helping to send its price soaring.

Predictably, bitcoin’s value jumped dramatically on the Tesla news.

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