Tesla Bitcoin bet could be ‘game changing’ if other companies follow suit, analysts say

This week, it was reported that Elon Musk’s electric car company had purchased $1.5 billion (£1.09bn) worth of the cryptocurrency. The company also said it would start accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment.

Following the news, Daniel Ives and Ygal Arounian, analysts for wealth management firm Webush Securities, said investors will be “watching closely” to see if other companies now do the same.

In a note, they called the move “game changing for the use of Bitcoin from a transactional perspective”.

The analysts added: “Ultimately, investors and other industry watchers will be watching this closely to see if other corporations follow the lead of Tesla on this crypto path or on the other hand does it remain a contained few names that make this strategic jump around Bitcoin.”

At the time of writing, the price of Bitcoin has jumped over 20 percent in the last 24 hours to $46,727 (£33,971) following the news, according to CoinDesk.

The cryptocurrency has historically had a volatile value which is not tied to a particular physical asset.

It is also not widely used as a means of payment for goods and services, though it has amassed an enthusiastic following.

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Over the weekend, Grimes, a musician and partner of Mr Musk, apparently made plans with fellow artist Lil Uzi Vert to get the technology implanted in their own brains at some point.

Grimes tweeted “let’s get brain chips,” to which Lil Uzi replied: “I’m ready when we doing it?”

The company has come under fire from animal rights activists due to the animal testing it has carried out thus far.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of charity PETA, last year challenged Mr Musk to test the technology out on himself instead.

The charity president wrote in a statement: “PETA challenges Elon Musk to behave like a pioneer and implant the Neuralink chip in his own brain rather than exploiting smart, sensitive pigs who didn’t volunteer for surgery, don’t appreciate that he provides pats and a straw cell, and should be left out of pie-in-the-sky projects.”

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