Tesla has bought $1.5B worth of Bitcoin; BTC surges above $44,000

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Bitcoin has suddenly surged and hit an all-time high of $44,840 after Tesla TSLA +0.3%, the electric car-maker led by billionaire Elon Musk, revealed it has bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin.

The bitcoin price rocketed to $44,840 per bitcoin on the Binance exchange before falling back slightly. At the time of writing, it is trading at $44,305.

Tesla announced that it purchased $1.5 billion worth of BTC in January, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), adding it would soon start accepting payments in BTC.

Tesla, which last year became the largest car company by value in the world, said it purchased the bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash,” according to the filing.

“We expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which we may or may not liquidate upon receipt,” the filing read.

In December, Musk sparked wild speculation Tesla could add bitcoin to its balance sheet during a public exchange on Twitter with MicroStrategy MSTR +5.3% chief executive Michael Saylor. MicroStrategy, a business intelligence firm, has attracted huge attention in recent months by buying billion of dollars worth of bitcoin—more quadrupling its original investment.

Last week, Musk said he believes bitcoin is on “the verge” of breaking into traditional finance.

“I am a supporter of bitcoin. I am late to the party but a supporter. I think bitcoin is on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people,” Musk said during an interview carried out on the invite-only chat app Clubhouse.

It’s another sign that the cryptocurrency is gaining global traction as a type of investment. Enthusiasts often tout the digital asset as a hedge against inflation and store of value in a world awash with stimulus and rampant central-bank money printing.

“If retail and institutional interest continues to grow over the next month, Bitcoin could target the $45,000 level,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at forex broker Oanda Corp.

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