Tesla becomes first car company to accept bitcoin

Tesla's electric vehicles can now be purchased by Americans with bitcoin. International orders to soon follow.

Tags: Bitcoin
Dan Verbin ,

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Tesla has become the world's first car manufacturer to accept bitcoin as payment for its vehicles.

On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin.”

Last month Tesla made headlines when it disclosed that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency. It said at the time it would soon begin accepting the digital coin instead of traditional money.

A support page has appeared on the Palo Alto, California-based electric vehicle company’s website instructing U.S. customers on how to pay with bitcoin. International customers will be able to buy a Tesla with bitcoin in the near future.

According to CNBC, Tesla is making use of proprietary and open source software to accept bitcoin payments. According to Musk, Tesla “operates bitcoin nodes directly,” meaning they are part of bitcoin’s network and operate to verify that transactions are legitimate and coins are not spent more than once.

The company’s refund policy states that while buyers might be able to buy a car in bitcoin, they might receive a refund in U.S. dollars if Tesla so chooses, and at exactly the price bitcoin was worth at the time of purchase.

Such a move would theoretically allow Tesla to take advantage of wild ups and downs experienced by the cryptocurrency, which is prone to speculation.