Tesla Embraces Bitcoin as Elon Musk Lights Another Fire Under Cryptocurrencies

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Tesla Buys $1.5 Billion of Bitcoin, Launching Cryptos to New Highs

Elon Musk lit another fire under Bitcoin today, parking $1.5 billion of Tesla’s cash in the cryptocurrency.

Tesla (TSLA) announced the transaction in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this morning. The move followed a decision by the electric car maker’s audit committee to allow holding “certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future.”

“Moreover, we expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future,” it added. TSLA is the fifth-most valuable company listed in U.S. markets.

BTCUSD, trapped under $42,000 for the previous month, spiked near $45,000 on the news. It also pushed the value of the cryptocurrency market to a record $1.28 trillion, up 67 percent so far this year.

Bitcoin (BTCUSD), daily chart, showing breakout to new highs.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD), daily chart, showing breakout to new highs.

Bill Miller, Snoop Dogg Target Cryptos

TSLA’s foray into digital assets is the latest in a wave of cryptocurrency adoption by mainstream institutions. On Friday, for example, famous value investor Bill Miller said his fund may invest in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

Last week also featured a major conference by Microstrategy (MSTR) CEO Michael Saylor, guiding major corporations and institutions on holding BTCUSD.

Aside from BTCUSD, CME futures on No. 2 cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETHUSD) began trading this week. Galaxy Digital, run by Mike Novogratz, additionally plans to launch an institutional-grade Ethereum fund later this month.

Here are some other recent headlines:

  • Ark Invest estimates further purchases by corporations could push BTCUSD to $535,000. (Cointelegraph.com, 2/2)
  • Visa (V) announces a crypto API partnership that will let customers buy and sell cryptocurrencies. (Press release, 2/3)
  • RBC Capital Markets says Apple (AAPL) could be the next major firm to purchase BTCUSD. (CNBC.com, 2/8)
  • Musicians Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons tweeted in favor of the speculative Dogecoin, further driving interest in cryptocurrencies. (New York Post, 2/8)

In conclusion, cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a broadening wave of adoption since PayPal (PYPL), Square (SQ) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) broke the ice in October. This week it’s only intensifying as BTCUSD and ETHUSD soar to new record highs.

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