Tesla said Monday that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and will start accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Tesla said it bought the bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash.”
Chief Executive Elon Musk has been hyping bitcoin for weeks. He added the hashtag #bitcoin to his Twitter bio and has spoken positively of digital currencies in recent interviews.
The announcement increased the price of both bitcoin and Tesla shares even as the filing noted bitcoin’s price volatility. It’s a significant move for Tesla, considering they’re moving $1.5 billion of the $19 billion in cash on hand it reported at the end of last year.
Tesla said it will allow payment by bitcoin “subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis.” Tesla will be the first major automaker to allow bitcoin as payment.