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While Nigeria Bans Cryptocurrency, Tesla Invests $1.5 Billion; Creating a Surge in Bitcoin Prices

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Electric vehicle company, Tesla, has disclosed in a filing with Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier today, Monday, that it has bought US$1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Tesla added that it bought the coin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash.”

The company also added that it may start accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for its vehicles soon.

This move would make Tesla the first major automaker to accept digital coin as means of payment for its product.

The $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin is believed to give Tesla liquidity in the cryptocurrency, as soon as it starts accepting it for payments.

Analysts are of the opinion that Tesla’s bold move will help accelerate a move for Bitcoin towards the mainstream, especially, as PayPal and BlackRock also move to accept the digital coin.

I think we will see an acceleration of companies looking to allocate to Bitcoin now that Tesla has made the first move,” said Eric Turner, VP of market intelligence at cryptocurrency research and data firm, Messari.

The announcement by Tesla gives the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency a fresh dose of mountain climb. The price of bitcoin went up by 14% to reach $43,000, according to data from Coindesk.

The announcement also put a medal on Tesla shares, as it went up 2% in early trading.

For months now, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk has been all over social media, showing his curiosity and interest in cryptocurrency.

Few weeks ago, Mr Musk changed his Twitter bio to “Bitcoin,” throwing his over 46 million followers into frenzy, while hyping the coin.

Read also: Wealth Management Start-up – Cowrywise – Raises $3m in Pre-series Round

Elon Musk, in December, had a twitchat with Microstrategy CEO, Micheal Saylor, and was advised to convert Tesla’s balance sheet from USD to Bitcoin, and do his “shareholders $100 billion favour.”

In related news, Nigerian government, through the country’s apex bank, has issued a directive to all local banks to shut down accounts of people involved in cryptocurrency trading.

This has thrown the social media space in the country into a hot pot, with many criticizing the decision of the government.

The decision by the government has also pushed Bitcoin exchange platform, Binance, to suspend deposit in Naira.

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