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Tesla buys US$1.5 billion in bitcoin, to accept it as payment for cars soon

Tesla buys US$1.5 billion in bitcoin, to accept it as payment for cars soon

File photo of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (Photo: AFP/Odd ANDERSEN)

NEW YORK: Tesla said on Monday (Feb 8) it had invested around US$1.5 billion in bitcoin and expected to begin accepting payment for its cars and other products with it in the near future, prompting a jump in the electronic currency.

Tesla said in a filing the decision was part of its broad investment policy as a company and was aimed at diversifying and maximising its returns on cash.

It said it had invested an aggregate US$1.5 billion in bitcoin under the changed policy and could "acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term".

Bitcoin surged to a new record above US$44,000 after Tesla made the disclosure.

The electric carmaker unveiled the investment 10 days after its chief executive Elon Musk drove up the cryptocurrency's price by adding a "#bitcoin" tag on his Twitter profile page.

Musk removed the tag from his Twitter bio a few days later but has continued talking up bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in particular, dogecoin, to his 46 million Twitter followers.

In December, he had mooted the possibility of converting "large transactions" of Tesla's balance sheet into bitcoin.

Source: Reuters

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