Lamborghinis have been the traditional status symbol formillionaires. After today, expect to see more crypto influencers rolling up in Teslas.
When Tesla reported its $1.5 billion purchase of Bitcoin to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the electric automaker mentioned an important detail in the filing: It wasn’t just buying thousands of Bitcoin—it was going to start accepting them for its products, too.
On March 24, Telsa CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the automaker is now offering Bitcoin as a payment option (limited to US customers for the moment, with other countries to follow later in the year). Musk added that the firm is running its own Bitcoin nodes and will keep the Bitcoin it receives, rather than switching it for fiat money such as US dollars.
You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021
At today’s rate of roughly $55,800 per BTC, you can pick up a tricked-out Model S, Tesla’s premier vehicle, for about 2.69 Bitcoin ($149,990).
For the Tesla aficionado who demands ludicrous precision, that’s the Model S Plaid+, which comes with self-driving capability (knock 0.2 BTC off the price if you want your hands on the wheel at all times). Tesla asks for skin in the game, so to place an order, you’d have to put $1,000 down, which is nothing—just 0.018 BTC!
If all that sounds too expensive, there are other options, all the way down to the budget Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which is a Tesla minus all the fun stuff: no all-wheel drive, no extended range, and no full autopilot mode. You can get that model, which will take you up to 263 miles on a single charge, for $37,990. Thanks to the Bitcoin buying spree set off by Tesla’s $1.5 billion buy, that’s not even 1 Bitcoin. Totally affordable.
The Model Y is a bit pricier. The “Performance” version of the luxury vehicle costs $59,990, or just over 1 BTC. It comes with dual motor all-wheel drive, and you can add on a tow hitch for 0.02 BTC ($1,000) and full self-driving capability for 0.2 BTC ($10,000).
If you’re looking for something that was rejected from a Mad Max film, try the Cybertruck. The Tri Motor AWD version with full self-driving capability goes 500 miles at least, and costs a cool $79,900—around 1.4 BTC.
Of course, the Cybertruck isn’t going into production until later this year. But you'll be able to pick one up for less than 1 BTC, as long as the price remains at this level or higher.
Before you start transferring funds out of your crypto wallet, however, remember that there’s more to car costs than the sticker price. When you pay with Bitcoin, that doesn’t just mean taxes and title. There are also transaction fees and capital gains tax to consider.
And, if you’re doing well enough to buy a Tesla with your Bitcoin, that capital gains tax could be sizable. But, hey, there’s always fiat.