Tesla buys $1.5B in Bitcoin, will accept as payment soon

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2020, file photo, SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award, in Berlin. Tesla says it has invested more than $1 billion in Bitcoin and will accept the digital currency as payment for its electric vehicles. In a regulatory filing Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, Musk’s electric vehicle company said its board approved of the $1.5 billion investment and potentially more in the future. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

NEW YORK — Tesla has acquired around $1.5 billion in Bitcoin under an investment policy at the electric car maker headed by Elon Musk, and it plans to begin accepting the digital currency as payment for vehicles soon.

The California company revealed the new strategy in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission early Monday, saying its investment in digital currency and other “alternative reserve assets” may grow.

Bitcoin spiked 14% and appeared to briefly hit a new all-time high. Shares of Tesla moved higher as well.

In its fourth quarter earnings report last month Tesla said it had cash and cash equivalents of $19.4 billion.