Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter, on March 24 that customers can buy a Tesla in the U.S. using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. No other digital currency can be used. Along with usual card payments, paying with the digital coin is also offered as an option. Musk also said that other countries will get this option “later this year.”
After his initial tweet, Musk clarified a few other points. He said that Tesla was using only internal and open source software and it directly operated Bitcoin nodes. He also that Bitcoin that was paid to the company would be retained as Bitcoin and “would not be converted.”
There are quite a few queries about this new payment mode and the website has a detailed FAQ section. It also has bitcoin payment terms and conditions which need to be understood before making payments in the digital currency.
Over a month ago, Tesla had mentioned that it would be adding the digital coin in its payment options when it had released its annual report to the SEC. The report had also said that the company had made an investment of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a volatile asset and Elon Musk’s investment had sent the coin soaring to about $43,000 when Tesla made its first investment. A few others followed suit and the digital coin now has a value of over $56,000, following Musk’s tweet.
Although an entry level Tesla model can be purchased with a single bitcoin, while a higher end model would require almost two, there is not much clarity about the owners of Bitcoin and currency or card payments will still be used to buy most of these vehicles.
As of now, not many customers are expected to use Bitcoin to buy a Tesla. However, if the digital currency proves sceptics wrong and becomes more generally accepted, it may become a commonly traded currency, though it is still difficult to mine.