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Bitcoin hit a fresh record above $47,000 on Tuesday after Tesla signaled its intent to begin accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Bitcoin quadrupled in value last year and is up another 60 percent so far this year, amid endorsements from high-profile investors like Paul Tudor Jones and companies like PayPal Holdings Inc.

Still, though Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment makes up about 8 percent of the company’s cash reserves, it’s a drop in the ocean compared with the overall holdings of America’s blue-chip corporates. The purchase is worth just 0.05 percent of the $2.79 trillion of cash and cash-equivalents held on the balance sheets of S&P 500 members, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Crypto acolytes have been saying for some time that corporate adoption is imminent, but in reality it had been limited to firms such as MicroStrategy Inc. and Square Inc. The involvement of Tesla—the fourth biggest company in the S&P 500, which is helmed by the world’s richest man—brings the discussion to the big leagues.


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