Tesla founder Elon Musk might be questioned by US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the automaker said it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, some experts have warned.
The Tesla Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the world’s richest person, could be questioned if Tesla already owned bitcoin, since the cryptocurrency’s price had risen after he included “#Bitcoin” in his Twitter bio, The Telegraph said. Musk has since deleted the hashtag from his Twitter bio.
Also read: A Tesla for a bitcoin: Musk drives up cryptocurrency price with $1.5 billion purchase
“It would not be surprising—given the focus on the chief executive’s tweets, bitcoin pricing and recent dramatic market moves—for the SEC to ask questions about the facts and circumstances here,” Doug Davison, a partner at Linklaters and a former branch chief of the SEC’s division of enforcement told The Telegraph.
In a filing on February 8, Tesla said it purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and might start accepting it as payment for its products in the “near future”.
If the SEC does quiz Musk, it will not be the first time he has had a run-in with the market regulator. In 2018, the maverick billionaire paid a $40-million fine to settle a lawsuit arising out of a tweet that talked about taking Tesla private.
Musk has through his tweets frequently praised another cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, even saying he bought “some” for his son.