Having invested $1.5 billion in the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, Elon Musk revealed on Twitter this week that Tesla will now accept bitcoin as a form of payment for its cars in the US. If you go through the process of placing your order on the company’s website, you will see the new option to pay with bitcoin below the button to order with a card. Musk added that the ability to pay by bitcoin will be available outside the US later this year.
“Tesla is using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly,” Musk explained in a follow-up tweet. “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.”
As Tesla explains in an FAQ on its site, customers can initiate a bitcoin payment from their wallet by either scanning a QR code from the website or copying and pasting the bitcoin address and the exact amount they need to send. If you don’t send the exact amount due for your deposit, your order might be canceled. If you send your deposit but make an incorrect payment for the final amount due on your car, the delivery could be delayed.
Tesla’s Bitcoin Payment Terms & Conditions give a stark warning about sending BTC to the wrong address:
Please understand that you are responsible for confirming that you input the correct amount of bitcoin and the correct bitcoin address into your digital wallet software. If you input the bitcoin address incorrectly, your bitcoin may be irretrievably lost or destroyed. If you choose to input the bitcoin address by scanning a QR code or copy and pasting the alphanumeric code, it is your responsibility to confirm that the alphanumeric wallet address that we provide to you is identical to the alphanumeric wallet address that populates in your digital wallet software upon scanning the QR code or copying and pasting the alphanumeric code. We will not be liable or responsible for any lost bitcoin or other digital asset as a result of you sending bitcoin to an incorrect wallet address or sending a digital asset that is not bitcoin to us.
Once you send your bitcoin payment from your wallet, the page can take up to a minute to refresh. If the page doesn’t refresh, do not send a second payment. Tesla will email you a confirmation once the payment has been received, and this can take up to six hours. If you haven’t gotten an email after six hours, try again.
This should be obvious, but it is worth noting that bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that Tesla is accepting as a form of payment currently. If you try to send a different cryptocurrency, such as Etherium or XRP, Tesla not only won’t receive the transaction, you will likely lose all of the coins that you attempted to send as well.
At the time of writing, 1 bitcoin is worth over $57,000. In recent days, CoinDesk shows that the cryptocurrency has fluctuated between $54,000 and $61,000, but hasn’t dropped below $50,000 since early March.