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Tesla plans to accept Bitcoin from e-car buyers; COVID-19 fallout drives game sales at Hasbro

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Tesla buys $1.5B in Bitcoin, will take as payment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Tesla has invested around $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and said it plans to begin accepting the digital currency as payment for it high-end vehicles soon.

The electric car maker headed by Elon Musk revealed the strategy in a regulatory filing, saying its investment in digital currency and other "alternative reserve assets" may grow. Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities said the move gives Tesla "more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on its cash."

It's been a wild ride for Bitcoin since it made its Wall Street debut in December 2017. Major futures exchanges rolled out bitcoin futures, pushing it to roughly $19,300. It evaporated quickly in 2018, and by December of that year Bitcoin was worth less than $4,000 a coin. More recently bitcoin rallied from below $11,000 in October and crossed $40,000 for the first time.

The uses for Bitcoin have not really changed since its rally three years ago. It's still largely used by those distrustful of the banking system, criminals seeking to launder money, and for the most part, as a store of value. But the dominoes could be falling if major companies follow Tesla's lead and begin accepting the digital currency as payment.

Board games stand out in Hasbro's 4Q

NEW YORK — The critical holiday shopping season, coupled with quarantining amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, pushed board game sales up 21 percent at Hasbro in the fourth quarter.

The toy company's Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering card game were strong performers in the quarter, along with Dungeons and Dragons.

Total revenue climbed 4 percent to $1.72 billion, slightly better than the $1.7 billion that analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research was calling for.

Hasbro earned $105.2 million, or 76 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 27. That compares with $95.5 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.

DoorDash buys robotic food prep firm

NEW YORK — DoorDash is buying automated food prep company Chowbotics to expand its fresh meal offerings.

DoorDash announced the acquisition Monday. Terms of the deal, which closed late last year, weren't disclosed.

Chowbotics, which was founded seven years ago, makes a refrigerator-sized robot called Sally that can store up to 22 prepared ingredients. Sally uses those ingredients to make up to 65 salads, bowls and other meals at a time.

Prior to this year, Chowbotics had sold around 125 of its $35,000 robots, mostly to universities, medical centers and grocery stores. But the company said sales jumped during the pandemic as customers looked for touch-free ways to dispense food.

DoorDash said Chowbotics' robots could allow its restaurant partners to offer more varieties of meals without having to expand their kitchen space. Other DoorDash merchants, like convenience stores, could also use it to expand into fresh food.

DoorDash offers delivery from 390,000 merchants in the U.S., Canada and Australia and is the food delivery market leader in the U.S. Chowbotics will continue to operate independently and has no plans to change its name.

Sheet metal firm to expand SC operations

COLUMBIA — A sheet metal fabrication company plans to expand operations in South Carolina's Fairfield County.

QuaLex Manufacturing LLC said its $2 million investment will create 60 new jobs.

The expansion is expected to be completed by August.

Associated Press

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