Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced earlier today that it is now possible to buy Tesla vehicles in the U.S. with bitcoin, and followed up with another tweet that Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.
Tesla is using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly.
Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021
The automaker last month revealed that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and that it would soon start accepting the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
“You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin,” tweeted Musk, who was officially made the “Technoking of Tesla” this month.
A support page on Tesla’s website explains how customers can pay for a Tesla using the digital currency. The company’s electric vehicles typically cost between $37,990 and $124,000 before tax.
People outside the U.S. will be able to buy a Tesla with bitcoin “later this year,” Musk said, without specifying which countries.
In order to accept the payment, Musk said Tesla is using “internal” and “open source software.” He added that Tesla “operates bitcoin nodes directly.” Nodes are computers on bitcoin’s network that work to verify transactions and avoid the cryptocurrency from being spent twice.
The important note was the last portion “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency”, an action which cryptocurrency enthusiast call ‘HODL’, an acronym for “Hold on for Dear Life.”
— Herbert R. Sim (@HerbertRSim) March 24, 2021
In the firm’s refund policy, Tesla cautioned buyers that should they seek to return their electric car and obtain a refund, the company can choose to pay them back in U.S. dollars or bitcoin. Tesla notes that it reserves the right to refund the customer in U.S. dollars at the exact price bitcoin was worth at the time of purchase.
This would ostensibly allow Tesla to benefit from price swings in the cryptocurrency or fiat currency, and leave customers with less than what they may have been entitled to with a refund based on a straight U.S. dollar transaction.
Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said in a research note Wednesday that his firm wasn’t expecting Tesla to start accepting bitcoin payments until the second half of this year.
“This is a seminal moment for Tesla and for the crypto world with Musk now cutting the red ribbon on Bitcoin transactions within he broader Tesla ecosystem,” said Ives. “We expect less than 5% of transactions to be through bitcoin over the next 12 to 18 months however this could move higher over time as crypto acceptance starts to ramp over the coming years.”
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)