On Monday, 8 February 2021, after the release of a report on the record purchase of Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk worth a total of US$ 1.5 billion US dollars (USD), interest in this virtual currency and its exchange rate increased significantly and was trading above US$ 44,000 per BTC. This upward trend continued on 9 February at 6:56 am CET, when BTC traded on the Coinbase digital currency market at US$ 47,225.25 per BTC, with daily growth of +1.17% of the exchange rate against the USD.
Tesla stated to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it had made this purchase of the BTC cryptocurrency on the basis of greater flexibility and further diversification of revenues and it was paid solely from the company’s own funds. Tesla also said it would start accepting payments in Bitcoin in exchange for its products “subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis.” This would make Tesla the first major carmaker to do so. Bitcoins worth US$ 1.5 billion will provide Tesla with cryptocurrency liquidity as soon as it will start accepting it as payment for its products and services. This move by Tesla as a direct investment in BTC cryptocurrency represents a significant percentage investment in the digital currency market, but does not pose a significant investment risk for Tesla as at the end of last year the company had cash and such equivalents on hand worth more than US$ 19 billion US dollars (USD).
Bitcoin is an internet open-source P2P payment network and also the crypto currency used in this network. Bitcoin’s main uniqueness is its full decentralization; it is designed so that no one, including the author or other individuals, groups or governments, can influence the currency, falsify, confiscate accounts, control cash flows or cause inflation. There is no central point in the network, and no one can make decisions. The final amount of bitcoins is known in advance and the release of bitcoins into circulation is defined in the network source code. There are minimal or no cost payments. The network has been operating since 2009 and it was created by a group of people known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
According to cryptocurrency analysts Bitcoin is the only medium of exchange that can offset central banks printing money. “Bit gold” and “b-Money” concepts were the basis for the creation of Bitcoin. There is now an official software client for payments, managed by volunteers from around the world and several alternative clients. Since 2011 conferences have been held all around the world on Bitcoin, economy, possibilities and implications of this currency. In September 2012, the non-profit company Bitcoin Foundation was established to take care of the Bitcoin infrastructure, monitor threats and possibly improve protocols, organize conferences and promote the currency. However given the decentralized nature of the network, the foundation has no special powers as the majority always makes decisions. In 2014, the Apache Software Foundation, a non-profit organization, began accepting donations in Bitcoins.