Technology

Elon Musk says people can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin

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Tesla, led by Elon Musk, confirmed it bought around $ 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in January and expects it to be accepted as payment in the future.

Artur Widak | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, announced late Tuesday that it is now possible to buy Tesla vehicles in the US with Bitcoin.

The automaker announced last month that it had bought $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and would soon be accepting the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as payment.

“You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin,” tweeted Musk, who was officially named “Technoking of Tesla” this month.

A support page on the Tesla website explains how customers can pay for a Tesla using the digital currency. The company’s electric vehicles typically cost between $ 37,990 and $ 124,000 before taxes.

People outside the US will be able to buy a Tesla with Bitcoin “later this year,” Musk said, without specifying which countries.

According to Tesla, Musk uses “internal” and “open source software” to accept the payment.

He added that Tesla “operates bitcoin nodes directly”. Nodes are computers on the Bitcoin network that check transactions and prevent the cryptocurrency from being spent twice.

Musk hugs Bitcoin

Tesla’s image as a green auto company is at odds with the colossal carbon footprint of the Bitcoin network. Cambridge University researchers found that more electricity is used annually than all of Argentina. A paper published in 2018 in Nature, arguably the world’s most prestigious academic journal, found that bitcoin emissions alone could drive global warming above 2 degrees Celsius.

Despite its poor environmental footprint, Musk has embraced Bitcoin more than any other major tech CEO. He has tweeted about the cryptocurrency for the past few months and raised alarm bells in some corners. He also tweeted about other coins like ether and dogecoin.

Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, told CNBC last month that Tesla’s share price is now directly tied to the value of Bitcoin.

“Musk is now tied to Bitcoin history in the eyes of the street, and although Tesla made a billion paper profit on digital gold in its first month, it carries an additional risk,” Ives told CNBC via e- Mail.

Tesla’s share price and the value of Bitcoin have seen tremendous gains over the past 12 months. Tesla shares rose from around $ 100 to over $ 600 and Bitcoin shares rose from around $ 7,000 to over $ 55,000.

However, some investors believe that Tesla and Bitcoin are both in the bubble zone.

Lansdowne Partners fund manager Per Lekander told CNBC last week that he believes Tesla is in a bubble and that it doesn’t have enough muscle, which means that if the value of Tesla’s stock falls, it will benefit.

Tesla’s market value surged over $ 800 billion in the twelve months leading up to January before falling to less than $ 600 billion in February. It’s now around $ 635 billion.

Tesla’s shares rose around 0.6% after close on Tuesday after closing at $ 662.16. Bitcoin is priced at $ 55,444.93.

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Katherine Clark