After announcing plans to accept bitcoin as a payment method for its electric vehicles through a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing in February, Tesla has now officially added the payment method to its website.
A bitcoin payment terms and conditions disclosure is available on the Tesla website as well. It clarifies that purchasers must have a bitcoin wallet in order to pay with bitcoin. Tesla provides these purchasers with a Bitcoin address and they are responsible for accurately transferring their bitcoin payment to it (bitcoin transactions sent to the wrong address would be irreversible). Tesla will indicate the “Bitcoin equivalent price” at the time of purchase, which will expire after an undisclosed amount of time. Buyers are responsible for any transaction fees associated with their purchase.
Publicizing the addition, CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company was accepting bitcoin and further clarified that Tesla is operating its own Bitcoin nodes and that it would retain any bitcoin it received, as opposed to selling it for fiat currency.
“Tesla is using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly,” he wrote. “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.”
As of now, it appears that the payment method is available for purchasing any of Tesla’s vehicle models, but that it is only available in U.S. stores. However, the option could soon be expanded to other locations around the world.
“Pay by Bitcoin capability available outside US later this year,” Musk tweeted this morning.
Tesla’s February SEC filing also indicated that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin as a way to “maximize returns on our cash.” Based on Musk’s tweets, it appears that the company’s decision to accept BTC as payment is being used as another method of building up this bitcoin reserve and further opt out of fiat.