Bitcoin’s price surged Wednesday after Elon Musk revealed the cryptocurrency could now be used to purchase Tesla vehicles, a hotly anticipated move first teased when Tesla revealed it had invested $1.5 billion in the controversial asset and a signal of confidence that could bring Bitcoin closer to mainstream use.
Musk revealed the new purchase option on Twitter early Wednesday morning, tweeting: “You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin.”
To begin with, the payment option will only be available in the U.S., Musk said, with plans to expand to other countries “later this year.”
Musk said the Bitcoin paid to Tesla “will be retained as Bitcoin” and not be converted to fiat currency, boosting the company’s $1.5 billion holding in the cryptocurrency that it announced in February.
The price of Bitcoin, which has fallen in the last few days, pushed back beyond $56,500 after Musk’s tweet.
The announcement of Tesla’s acceptance of Bitcoin once again places Musk at the center of a cryptocurrency spike. The billionaire’s tweets have been known to send its value skyrocketing, with the price of bitcoin surging more than 15% in 15 minutes when he added the hashtag #bitcoin to his profile at the end of January and Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency originally invented as a joke, has soared in value with Musk’s vocal online support, proving especially popular among retail traders.
$1.5 billion. Tesla spurred a surge in institutional interest in Bitcoin when it announced the significant investment, fueling a huge rally. Many other institutions, including BNY Mellon and MasterCard, announced plans to utilize the cryptocurrency.
“I think bitcoin is really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by sort of the conventional finance people,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Clubhouse earlier this year.