Tesla (TSLA) sent shockwaves across the financial markets Monday after a United States Securities and Exchange Commission filing confirmed that the electric vehicle maker has added Bitcoin (BTC) to its balance sheet.
Tesla’s latest Form 10-K filing for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020 shows a $1.5 billion allocation to Bitcoin. As Bitwise researcher David Lawant points out, Tesla’s BItcoin exposure represents roughly 7.7% of its gross cash position.
He derives those figures from Tesla’s cash and equivalents, which netted a gross of $19.4 billion by the end of 2020, or $9.8 billion net of debt and finance leases.
Tesla’s Bitcoin purchase puts it near the top of the corporate treasuries list. Only one other company – MicroStrategy – has purchased more of the digital asset as part of its strategic reserves.
News of Tesla’s participation in the Bitcoin market sent prices soaring on Monday. BTC price hit a high near $45,000, easily surpassing its previous peak. Bitcoin’s market cap exceeded $800 billion for the first time.
In addition to adding BTC to its balance sheet, Tesla plans to accept the digital asset as a mode of payment. What’s more, the BTC it receives will not be liquidated for cash but added to its balance sheet.
Tesla is spearheading Bitcoin adoption at a crucial time in the bull market. Given Elon Musk’s propensity to move markets, Tesla’s newfound Bitcoin exposure could hasten retail adoption in the short term.
Bitcoin has also piqued the interest of large corporations. Microstrategy’s Bitcoin-buying webinar last week registered over 1,400 signups.