The price of bitcoin (BTC) made a sudden ascent Wednesday morning after Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said customers can now use the cryptocurrency to buy Tesla electric cars, as he promised earlier this year.
Musk also disclosed that the company will retain the paid apex cryptocurrency as BTC and will not convert it into fiat.
“You can now buy a Tesla using Bitcoin,” the billionaire tweeted. Bitcoin rose 3% against the U.S. dollar to $55,444.21 moments after Musk’s Twitter comment.
Bitcoin was trading almost 4% higher at $55,652.99 as of this writing. It traded 9.9% below its all-time high of $61,683.86, which it reached on Mar. 13, this year.
Bitcoin rising 400% in last 6 months
Musk noted that the electric vehicle builder uses internal, open-source software and operates BTC nodes directly. He added that “pay by Bitcoin capability will be available outside the U.S. later this year.”
Most major companies like Microsoft and AT&T that enable customers to pay with Bitcoin typically use a dedicated payment platform that converts the cryptocurrency into, for instance, dollars and sends the sum to the company.
Bitcoin has climbed over 400% over the last six months courtesy of increasing adoption from institutional investors and big-time tech companies like Tesla. Square, Jack Dorsey’s payments services company, has poured in more than $200 million in cryptocurrency.
Big players buying bitcoin
Tesla had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin — the world’s largest virtual currency — last month. At that time, it had announced it would start accepting the digital token as a form of payment on a limited basis in the coming months.
That move by Tesla to invest in the crypto was met with some surprise, considering the volatility of Bitcoin prices and the fact that the amount represented a significant portion of the company’s cash.
Musk frequently comments about cryptocurrency on social media, particularly Dogecoin. This month, Mark Cuban — the Dallas Mavericks basketball team billionaire owner – said the team started accepting DOGE as payment.
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