Bitcoin (BTC-USD) surged roughly 8% Monday afternoon amid news that Tesla (TSLA) invested $1.5bn in the cryptocurrency, and may even start accepting it as payment for its products.
Bitcoin crossed the $43,000 at one point in the day. In a filing with the SEC, Tesla said it has “invested an aggregate $1.5bn in bitcoin,” and “may acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term.”
It added that it expects “begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for [its] products in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which [it] may or may not liquidate upon receipt.”
The move “highlights the power that Elon Musk has in shaping price action and moving markets. He’s now putting his money (shareholders’) where his mouth is,” noted Neil WIlson, chief market analyst for Markets.com
However, he added that given Musk’s comments in support of bitcoin and adding #Bitcoin to his Twitter bio on 29 January “raises a real question about possible market manipulation. Musk’s tweeting record is chequered to say the least and he has had his knuckles rapped by the SEC in the past”.
He said that the move “will also raise questions for fund managers who may not want to invest in a company with this kind of risk on its balance sheet – we know Bitcoin is very volatile – this is normal FX risk x100. Tesla is now starting to take on big FX risk – this may not worry a lot of investors, but some conservative types might be concerned.”