GM has little interest in following Tesla and investing in Bitcoin

The reflection of bitcoins on a computer hard drive.

Thomas Trutschel | Photo library via Getty Images

General Motors has no plans to invest in Bitcoin, but CEO Mary Barra said the automaker will monitor customer demand as it weighs whether to accept the cryptocurrency to pay for its services and vehicles.

“We have no plans to invest in Bitcoin, so stop here,” she responded to a question from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday. “We will monitor and evaluate this. If there is strong customer demand in the future, nothing will prevent us from doing this.”

Barra’s comments follow Tesla’s disclosure earlier this week that the cryptocurrency was purchased for $ 1.5 billion.

In the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla said it bought the Bitcoin in order to “have more flexibility to further diversify and maximize the returns on our cash.” Tesla is also expected to receive liquidity in the cryptocurrency before planning to accept it for payments, “subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis,” the company said.

Unlike Tesla, GM doesn’t sell its vehicles directly to consumers. It uses a franchise dealer network. If GM were to accept cryptocurrency for new vehicles, it would have to work the process out with its dealers and their shared systems.

Billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta told CNBC on Tuesday that his luxury car dealer has sold 17 vehicles to buyers using Bitcoin since adoption began Transactions with the digital currency almost three years ago.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, soared to new highs on Monday after Tesla’s announcement, hitting a price of at least $ 44,200. It was trading above $ 44,000 per coin on Wednesday morning.

In its SEC filing, Tesla warned investors about the volatility of Bitcoin price.

– CNBC’s Steve Kovach and Kevin Stankiewicz contributed to this article.

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