This week in Business Twitter: Elon Musk announces that Tesla officially accepts Bitcoin, Y Combinator sees an impressive batch of startups for Demo Day, and a16z partner Andrew Chen says he likes Austin — and why it’ll never replace Silicon Valley.
Here’s everything you may have missed from this week.
1. Tesla’s Bitcoin buy in
You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021
Just as “Technoking” of Tesla Elon Musk promised, consumers are now able to buy a Tesla with Bitcoin. While thousands of Tesla enthusiasts were elated by the news, the reality of actually buying a Tesla with crypto isn’t so easy.
First off, customers must make a purchase within a 30-minute window, otherwise the value of the highly volatile cryptocurrency will already be out of date. There’s also not much information on how the purchase works, though according to Coindesk, a phone call to a local Tesla dealer is typically how the process starts.
“Tesla is using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly,” Musk added. “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.”
There’s another drawback: if you make an error in the online payment, your Bitcoin “may be irretrievably lost or destroyed.” Besides, Bitcoin is in the middle of a roaring bull market, and will likely keep gaining value. One owner purchased a Tesla for 91.4 BTC in 2013, worth $103,000 at the time. Today those coins would be worth a whopping $4.7 million.
2. Y Combinator’s latest Demo Day
Tuesday was famed startup accelerator Y Combinator’s Demo Day, where dozens of new founders pitch their business ideas to would-be investors. This year’s second batch, or W21 for short, was YC’s biggest to date, with around 350 businesses participating. It sounds as if fitting all of those pitches into a single day would be challenging, but founders only have one minute to grab their audience and raise some money.
The W21 batch is among YC’s most diverse: 19% of the companies have a woman founder, 7% have a Black founder, and 13% have a Latinx founder.
Some notable demos include sex tech startup Blushh, which makes “sensual and romantic audio stories” geared towards women in Asia. Then there’s Prospa, a Nigerian startup that runs a neobank for other small companies in the country. According to TechCrunch, Prospa is already prospering thanks to Nigeria’s booming economy and growing startup culture.
3. Andrew Chen on Austin
Finishing up two months in austin. Thoughts:— andrewchen (@andrewchen) March 26, 2021
- huge group of amazing SF people now there. Many bought homes
- startup scene has been B2B, plus ecomm. Few consumer app cos
- food = yum. People = kind. A lot to like
- weather was wild - snowstorm, hot days, other days cold/hail
Chen dispelled some myths about the Silicon Valley exodus, namely that Austin may not be the tech hub many say it is (it’s not called Silicon Hills for nothing). Chen wrote that he could “imagine it emerging as a major tech hub. But likely still behind LA/NYC and certainly SF.”
Chen has been a vocal supporter of the Bay Area for some time. While he was in Austin, the city was hit with a blizzard, leaving him to ride out the storm with the Hustle founder Sam Parr. One of the key pieces of advice Chen gave Parr was to keep investing in the Bay Area or companies affiliated with the region.