Bitcoin prices soar as Tesla says it bought $1.5 billion worth

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Tesla has acquired around $1.5 billion in Bitcoin under an investment policy at the electric car maker headed by Elon Musk, and it plans to begin accepting the digital currency as payment for vehicles soon.

The California company revealed the new strategy in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission early Monday, saying its investment in digital currency and other “alternative reserve assets” may grow.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives called Tesla’s move to back the cryptocurrency “a potential game changing move for the use of bitcoin” to make retail purchases. 

“Ultimately, investors and other industry watchers will be watching this closely to see if other corporations follow the lead of Tesla on this crypto path or on the other hand does it remain a contained few names that make this strategic jump around bitcoin,” he said in a research note. 

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Bitcoin prices jumped 14% and appeared to briefly hit a new all-time high of roughly $44,000. Shares of Tesla moved higher as well, topping $870. The company’s stock price has skyrocketed, soaring 481% over the last year and lifting its market value to $822 billion — more than Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen combined. 

Around the world, electric vehicles represented almost 5% of all new car sales in 2020, but only 2.4% in the U.S. according to research firm Canalys.

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