March 24 (Insider) – Tesla has begun accepting bitcoin as payment, Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
The chief executive said that Tesla “is using only internal & open source software” and that it “operates Bitcoin nodes directly.” Nodes are computers on the cryptocurrency’s peer-to-peer network that secure and verify transactions.
Musk added that “bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.”
Paying with bitcoin is possible only in the US at the moment, Musk said, adding that he would expand the payment method later this year.
The price of bitcoin rose by about 5% on Wednesday following Musk’s announcement. The cryptocurrency has skyrocketed about 95% this year.
Earlier this year, Tesla announced that it had invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin. The investment has likely already netted Tesla nearly $1 billion thanks to the cryptocurrency’s price increase.