London (CNN Business) Tesla’s decision to invest in Bitcoin has sent prices to a record high. But it's not the only catalyst driving the cryptocurrency's rapid ascent.
What's happening: Bitcoin leaped above $48,000 for the first time ever after Tesla () said Monday that it would soon accept Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles. The electric carmaker, led by crypto enthusiast Elon Musk, also disclosed that it's holding $1.5 billion of reserve cash in Bitcoin rather than traditional currency.
The move indicates that cryptocurrencies are starting to go mainstream in Corporate America after years of skepticism. It's one thing for Musk to identify as a "supporter of Bitcoin." It's another for Tesla, a S&P 500 company, to accept direct Bitcoin payments and make a sizable investment.