Tesla says it has bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin

Tesla has disclosed in an SEC filing published Monday that it has bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin.

"In January 2021, we updated our investment policy to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity," reads the filing. "Thereafter, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin under this policy and may acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term."

In addition to the bitcoin purchase, Tesla expects to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for its products "in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which we may or may not liquidate upon receipt."

Bitcoin's price has been soaring on the back of this news. It is currently trading around 10% up at about $42,500. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk first inquired about converting "large transactions" of Tesla's balance sheet into bitcoin in December in a Twitter exchange with Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor.

Saylor at the time encouraged Musk to shift cash from Tesla to bitcoin and "do your shareholders a $100 billion favor."

Shortly after that exchange, Musk wrote in a separate tweet at the time: "Bitcoin is my safe word."

Earlier this month, Musk changed his Twitter bio to mention bitcoin and said: "I think bitcoin is really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by sort of the conventional finance people."

A week later, Musk removed the bitcoin mention from his Twitter bio and posted a series of Dogecoin-related tweets. Musk has previously said that he "occasionally" makes "jokes about Dogecoin," suggesting that they shouldn't be taken seriously.