Tesla Employee May Have Leaked Initial Purchase of $800 Million in Bitcoin

The possible Tesla employee claims the company used bots to buy the digital currency one month ago.
Brad Bergan

Editor's Note: In a subsequent interview, the Reddit user claimed that his post was just a hoax. You can read that interview here. Our original article is unchanged and can be read below. 

A Reddit user who claims to work for Tesla R&D said the company used a bot to buy $800 million in bitcoin over a 72-hour period one month ago, according to their post on Reddit.

"I am a software dev working at R&D at Tesla in California, over the past 72 hours our company bought 24,701 BTC at an average price of [$]33,142," read the post.

If true, this means the word was out on Telsa's bitcoin buy of $1.5 billion in bitcoin. "The way we did it was buying small amounts of BTC every few seconds and big amounts of BTC after a dip of at least 1.5%," added the Redditor and alleged Tesla employee in their post. "We did this with a bot, which we developed with Python and NodeJs."

Bitcoin price could surge from Tesla's bot-buy

Tesla's purchase of $1.5 billion in bitcoin came to light via a 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — according to an initial report from Crowdfund Insider.

Crypto investors use bots — which are automated software that helps users buy and sell cryptocurrency at the most strategic times — all of the time. But we're unsure how the legalities will play out in the case of a company with the finances of Elon Musk's Tesla.

"I have no idea what will happen once this reaches the newspapers but I think the price will explode even more," added the alleged Tesla employee in their Reddit post. "Thank me later."

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Tesla's buy already pushed bitcoin value to $47,000

When the all-electric vehicle manufacturer's colossal Bitcoin investment went happened, it pushed the price up 7% — causing a surge in value to $43,000 for the first time.

Under the initial SEC filing, Tesla said it would "acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term." But if the company bought and sold the cryptocurrency on the small, hyper-strategic timescale of automated bots, this initial filing feels like it's stretching the phrase "time to time."

However, Tesla purchased their share of bitcoin, the effect on the cryptocurrency's value continued to rise through Monday — eventually reaching heights of $47,000, which was another all-time high. As of Tuesday morning, the price is at roughly $46,300 per bitcoin.

Tesla's bitcoin surge could help recoup recall losses

CEO Tesla Elon Musk aims to accept bitcoin as payment for Tesla products, which places the company in league with PayPal — which already allows its customers to buy and sell numerous forms of bitcoin (like ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash) using its PayPal wallet.

The function will also show up in Venmo later this year, according to Yahoo!Finance — which will bring crypto purchases and sales to a second online payment platform.

Since the GameStop stock short "squeeze," some experts have come to suspect we've reached an asset bubble, driven by social media users on Reddit and Twitter. The Tesla CEO has issued a flurry of tweets on the GameStock saga, but since the automaker voluntarily recalled nearly 135,000 cars — including Model S sedans and Model X SUVs — only time will tell whether the company is creating its own asset bubble to make up for the recall loss, or if we're seeing something entirely new.

This was a breaking story and was regularly updated as new information became available.

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