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Tesla now accepts bitcoin as payment for its cars in the US

Bitcoin payments are to extend beyond the US later this year

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Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed that his electric car company now accepts payments in the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

The announcement was made by Musk on Twitter this morning and is explained in greater detail on Tesla's website.

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Musk tweeted: "You can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin...Tesla is using only internal and open source software and operates bitcoin nodes directly. Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency."

In a follow-up tweet, Musk added that bitcoin capability outside of the US will be available later this year. However, a note on the Tesla website more conservatively states: "We will consider expanding into new markets in the future."

Bitcoin has been added to a list of accepted payment methods on Tesla's website, alongside direct debit, wire transfer and check. Only credit cards and bitcoin are accepted for the initial $100 order fee, Tesla says.

Payments can be made by either scanning a QR code or copying and pasting a Tesla bitcoin address and exact bitcoin amount into your wallet. If exactly the correct amount of bitcoin is not sent, Tesla says the order may be cancelled.

A new support page on Tesla's website explains how the exact amount must be transferred in one bitcoin transaction and from one wallet. Tesla adds: "Once you send bitcoin from your wallet, the page will refresh within one minute...We will email you a confirmation once payment is received. This can take up to six hours to process."

Tesla invested $1.5 billion into bitcoin in February this year in a bid to "diversify and maximize" its investments, but the move was met with concern given the volatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Now at approximately $56,400, bitcoin is estimated to have been worth around $35,000 when Tesla made its investment.


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