NEW DELHI: Electric carmaker Tesla has started accepting Bitcoin as an alternate mode of payment, thus becoming the first major automaker to trade in the popular cryptocurrency in exchange for its products.
At present, the option to pay in bitcoin is available only in the United States. But, this facility will be available outside the US later in 2021, said Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
2021 is also the year when Tesla is expected to launch its first product in India. According to reports, the Tesla Model 3 will be the company’s first car in the Indian market and it may carry a price tag of around $70,000.
However, the future of cryptocurrencies remains uncertain in India. The Centre is mulling imposing a ban on crypto-currency (including Bitcoin) trading, mining, and investments in the country and a bill for the same has already been proposed in Parliament recently. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had also recently said that the Reserve Bank is concerned that cryptocurrencies may impact India’s financial stability. RBI has plans to launch its own e-currency.
The value of bitcoin surpassed the $60,000 mark earlier this month, having nearly doubled in value this year. Its value rose over 4 per cent on Wednesday to $56,802 after Musk made his announcement. Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as bitcoin and not converted to fiat currency. “Tesla is using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly...Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency,” Musk said. Tesla had last month announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin.