Electric vehicle company Tesla, helmed by CEO Elon Musk, said that it “may in the future restart the practice of transacting in cryptocurrencies.” The disclosure came in a September quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission.
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“We believe in the long-term potential of digital assets both as an investment and also as a liquid alternative to cash,” the company said.
From January to March 2021, Tesla offered customers the option to pay for electric vehicles with Bitcoin, and invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin during the first quarter of the year.
But environmental concerns hampered efforts to lock in Bitcoin as a payment method, with the cryptocurrency’s poor environmental record triggering public criticism toward the company.
This summer, Musk announced that the company might restart Bitcoin transactions if the cryptocurrency became more reliant on renewable energy and at least half of its hash rate came from renewables.
Tesla’s market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion this week after it secured a deal with car rental company Hertz. It became the fifth company to reach the $1 trillion mark.
Tesla’s share prices skyrocketed by 12.6%, reaching around $1,000 in a historic milestone.
Musk has played an outsized role in the success and stumbles of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Shiba Inu Coin, which dropped 20% over the weekend when he disclosed that he owned zero Shiba Inu coins.
Musk said he only owned Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin: “Out of curiosity, I acquired some ascii hash strings called ‘Bitcoin, Ethereum & Doge’. That’s it,” Musk said on Twitter.
Musk cautioned crypto enthusiasts not to divert their savings into meme cryptocurrencies like Shiba Inu or Floki Inu, named after his own Shiba Inu puppy — Floki — which he introduced to the world in September.
“As I’ve said before, don’t bet the farm on crypto! True value is building products & providing services to your fellow human beings, not money in any form,” Musk said.