Crypto Execs Giddy Over Elon Musk’s $1.5 Billion Bitcoin Spree – Decrypt

In brief

  • Elon Musk’s Tesla bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin today.
  • The crypto industry was quick to react.
  • Yes, everyone is as happy as you’d expect.

Word got out today that Tesla, the car company run by Elon Musk, the crypto community’s spiritual king and previously absent father, has invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Moments after the news, contained within a small paragraph of a recent filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Bitcoin sprang to its latest all-time high, about $44,000.

The crypto industry is very happy about Musk’s latest investment. The investment means, after all, that one of the largest companies in the world has not just recognized Bitcoin, but duly invested 7.7% of its $19 billion cash holdings. 

Though the firm’s SEC filing which revealed the investment did not go into further detail, Tesla evidently views Bitcoin as an asset in which it is worth investing billions and presumably as an asset on the rise.

And while the crypto community is still buzzing, Decrypt spoke to a few industry leaders to understand their delight.

CoinZoom CEO Todd Crosland, who considers Musk “probably the most visionary entrepreneur of our generation,” told us that the news “is a shot across the bow to corporations around the world and further bolsters the case for the mass adoption of digital assets globally.” 

And Joel Edgerton, COO, bitFlyer USA, thinks it is a “brilliant move by Elon,” and that “it was inevitable.” Denis Vinokourov, head of research at digital asset prime broker Bequant, also didn’t think that the news was “entirely a surprise.” 

Both point to Musk’s recent outpouring of support for the coin. Musk recently came around to Bitcoin; on January 29, he changed his Twitter bio “#Bitcoin” and confirmed on Clubhouse that he is a “supporter of Bitcoin.” 

Edgerton added, “MicroStrategy already poked a hole in the dam and other corporations that are bursting through.” 

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who has spent the winter months on Twitter, promoting Bitcoin, the asset in which his company holds a position worth more than $2.5 billion (in old money), congratulated Musk for his excellent choice. “Congratulations & thank you to @elonmusk & @Tesla on adding #Bitcoin to their balance sheet. The entire world will benefit from this leadership.”

MicroStrategy, a US business intelligence company, started buying Bitcoin in August. In a single month, Saylor invested close to $250 million. The CEO claims that Bitcoin is a worthy successor to the dollar as a store of value; he thinks the dollar is failing and finance needs to be shaken up.

The next month, MicroStrategy announced plans to buy more; in December, the company raised $650 million in debt securities. While it was completing the raise, Saylor encouraged Musk to convert his balance sheet to Bitcoin. 

Joel Kruger, cryptocurrency strategist at LMAX Digital, also told us that Tesla’s Bitcoin purchase is a sign of greater things yet to come. “We think this is just the start to a much wider adoption from household institutional names, finally ready to make the crossover into the crypto space,” he said. 

And Nathan Cox, Chief Investment Officer at Two Prime, told us that it will “kickstart wide scale adoption of Bitcoin among CFOs to take a serious look at digital assets as part of a robust corporate balance sheet.” It “confirms our thesis on corporate treasury management,” he said smugly. 

Should the industry be wary of the corporate types invading the plucky retail investors whom they have spent the past decade battling? 

Eden Dhaliwal, Global Managing Director of the Conflux Network said it should not. “We shouldn’t fear institutional involvement in our industry,” he explained. They need us just as much as we need them, and together, we can continue to pursue a truly open, global, and decentralized economy. This bold move by Tesla is a sign of the future just ahead.”

In other words, it’s a steady torrent of “I told you so’s” and “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

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