Electric automaker Tesla has invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and states it will also accept Bitcoin for car purchases.
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Tesla, the buzzy car company with skyrocketing stock, is welcoming Bitcoin, the buzzy currency with skyrocketing prices. The electrical automaker has actually invested 1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency and says it will accept Bitcoin for vehicle purchases quickly. NPR’s Camila Domonoske reports.
CAMILA DOMONOSKE, BYLINE: Tesla and Bitcoin have a lot in typical – skyrocketing values, idealistic fans and doubters alerting a crash might be coming.
(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED PRESS REPORTER: Now, does Tesla be worthy of to be the world’s most significant automobile producer?
FRANK HOLLAND: However I believe the question everyone wishes to know is, what is the true worth of Bitcoin?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: It remains in a massive bubble.
DOMONOSKE: Still, some mainstream business are beginning to take Bitcoin seriously – possession supervisor BlackRock, payment company Square. And after that there’s MicroStrategy. Its CEO Michael Saylor is a Bitcoin evangelist. Last year he took practically all the company’s cash and put it into Bitcoin.
MICHAEL SAYLOR: You understand, individuals that didn’t like Bitcoin – they believed we were insane. But individuals that like Bitcoin believed that was fantastic, and the shareholders liked it.
DOMONOSKE: Then Saylor publicly discussed this method with Elon Musk. He would not say whether they talked privately, but he argues that any business holding a lot of money must consider Bitcoin since of the Federal Reserve.
SAYLOR: The rate of interest got pegged to absolutely no, and they’ll most likely be no for the foreseeable two, 3, 4 years. And so …
DOMONOSKE: That indicates a company holding on to its cash isn’t getting any returns for it. And Tesla appears to have been convinced. On the other hand, the business didn’t simply reveal it was purchasing Bitcoin. It also states it will start accepting it – welcome news to Bitcoin enthusiast David Gokhshtein, who’s been tweeting at Elon Musk and requesting just that. He does not actually want a Tesla.
DAVID GOKHSHTEIN: I’m a BMW guy. I like German vehicles.
DOMONOSKE: However he says if Tesla really does take Bitcoin, he’s going to feel obligated to follow through.
GOKHSHTEIN: I will be purchasing either a Roadster or a Cybertruck. I’ll do eeny, meeny, miney, moe (ph).
DOMONOSKE: Whether or not he puts his money where his mouth is, Gokhshtein is plainly delighted that this will be an option since it suggests treating Bitcoin as a real-world currency rather of simply a financial investment, which is the world Bitcoin believers wish to reside in.
Camila Domonoske, NPR News.
(SOUNDBITE OF THE MAR-KEYS’ “POP-EYE WALK”)
Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website regards to use and authorizations pages at www.npr.org for additional information.
NPR transcripts are produced on a rush due date by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR professional, and produced using a proprietary transcription procedure established with NPR. This text might not remain in its final kind and might be upgraded or revised in the future. Precision and accessibility may differ. The reliable record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.