Tesla has invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin and plans to soon accept the cryptocurrency from customers who purchase its electric cars, the company said Monday.
The announcement from the automaker, in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, is a sign of confidence in the cryptocurrency that regulators are concerned could be used for illegal transactions.
Announcing the $1.5 billion investment, Tesla said “In January 2021, we updated our investment policy to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash,”
As a result “we may invest a portion of such cash in certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future.”
The Electric car maker also added that it will “begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for products in the near future.”
The announcement, which helped lift the cryptocurrency to a new all-time high, came just days after Tesla chief Elon Musk briefly changed his Twitter bio to simply read “#bitcoin.”
Prices of Bitcoin surged to $43,725.51 around 1300 GMT, before cooling slightly to $42,352.
Tesla acknowledged in the SEC filing that digital assets “may continue to be highly volatile” and vulnerable to “malicious” technology-based attacks.
Regulators and central bankers have reacted cautiously to the latest surge in bitcoin prices.
During her confirmation hearing, newly-installed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to illicit finance.