Bitcoin (BTC) Entering a New Age of Mainstream Adoption Following Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) $1.5 Billion Bet on the Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin (BTC), the pre-eminent cryptocurrency, has now entered a new phase of mainstream adoption after receiving a major endorsement from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).
To wit, in a Form 10-K filed with the US SEC, Tesla noted on page 23:
“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. As part of the policy, which was duly approved by the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors, we may invest a portion of such cash in certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future. 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. Moreover, we expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which we may or may not liquidate upon receipt.”
Of course, this development has now raised legal questions for Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, in light of his recent endorsement of Bitcoin. In late January, Musk had added the cryptocurrency to his Twitter bio, precipitating a 20 percent spike in the digital asset. Thereafter, during a discussion on the Clubhouse audio chat app, Musk reiterated his support for Bitcoin. He followed that endorsement with a qualifier:
“I’ve got to watch what I say here because some of these things can really move the market.”
On the whole though, today’s development bodes quite well for Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption. More companies will now likely jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon, accelerating acceptance for the cryptocurrency. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that Bitcoin is surging today, having already raced past the $43,000 price level on the back of a 11 percent-plus move.
The growing adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies constitutes a seminal shift in the market’s perception of these digital assets. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how the cryptos would fare against national digital currencies, backed by the full faith and credit of central banks. To this end, China is leading the race as its digital yuan is close to an official launch following successful trial runs. As far as Bitcoin itself is concerned, some skeptics point to its slow transaction processing ability as a major dampener for mainstream adoption. Nonetheless, Tesla’s move today marks a major shot across the bow of paper-based currencies.