The electric-car maker Tesla is known for bucking convention. That apparently extends to using its own corporate cash to buy Bitcoin.
The company disclosed in its annual report on Monday that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency, as part of an initiative begun last month to invest in alternative assets like digital currencies and gold bullion. It added that it expected to begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment “in the near future.”
Tesla said it held $19.4 billion in cash and equivalents as of Dec. 31.
Other companies, including the payments processor Square and the business intelligence software provider MicroStrategy, have publicly said they were investing corporate cash in Bitcoin. Tesla is perhaps the most prominent company to do so.
The carmaker’s chief executive, Elon Musk, is known for promoting cryptocurrencies on his widely followed Twitter feed. Most recently, he has cheered on Dogecoin, a digital token begun as a joke but whose price has soared after encouragement by Mr. Musk.
Bitcoin reached a record after Tesla’s announcement, rising more than 10 percent in Monday morning trading to above $44,000 per coin.
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