Tesla’s bet on Bitcoin marks a bellwether moment for crypto
Bitcoin leapt to a new all-time high today after Elon Musk’s Tesla disclosed it had bought $1.5bn of the cryptoasset and signaled plans to start accepting it as a form of payment.
According to the SEC filing, the $1.5bn held in Bitcoin represents about 8% of all the $19.4bn that Tesla holds in cash and liquid assets.
The vote of confidence from the electric-car company is being hailed as the most prolific endorsement of digital assets by a major US company. But it hasn’t come as much of a surprise to those in the crypto community.
It’s no secret that Elon Musk has long been ‘Bitcoin curious’. However, apart from his creative use of crypto memes and the occasional tweet joke-referencing Doge/Bitcoin, the enigmatic CEO has remained somewhat elusive about his true views on cryptoassets.
It was only last week that Musk confirmed his thoughts about Bitcoin during a discussion on the popular Clubhouse audio chat app, stating: “I’m late to the party but I’m a supporter of Bitcoin.”
Days before, the billionaire had added the hashtag #Bitcoin to his Twitter bio.
Back in December, Elon enquired about the possibility of converting ‘large transactions’ of Tesla’s balance sheet into Bitcoin during a Twitter exchange with Michael Saylor, the founder and CEO of MicroStrategy.
Saylor went on to tell Musk that this move would be ‘a $100 billion favor’ to Tesla’s shareholders that would grow into a ‘$1 trillion favor.’
Two months later, Tesla has followed Microstrategy’s footsteps, becoming the first Fortune 500 company to add Bitcoin to its corporate treasury.
Ralph Payne, Chief Financial Officer at Copper, believes Tesla’s decision points the way to broader acceptance of digital assets, commenting. “We are delighted to see Tesla entering the digital asset market with a significant purchase of Bitcoin. We see this as further validation of the digital asset space and expect it is just the beginning of Tesla’s involvement with cryptocurrencies, moving beyond treasury allocation and into their products.”
“On the back of positive regulatory developments, such as the OCC’s notice that nationally chartered banks can custody cryptoassets and provide services to stablecoin issuers, I think we will be seeing more forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies looking to allocate to Bitcoin in the not too distant future. In the meantime, SP500 owns a little bit of Bitcoin via Tesla.”