The conglomerate is making a comeback. But instead of combining jet engines with, say, broadcast television, the diversification play comes from cryptocurrency. On Monday, a securities filing from Tesla showed the electric-vehicle company had purchased $1.5bn worth of bitcoin in January.

CEO Elon Musk likes to tweet about bitcoin and digital currency dogecoin, playfully or otherwise. But his company’s fortunes remain tied to ramping up production of vehicles. The $1.5bn investment in bitcoin is less than a 10th of Tesla’s cash balance and well under 1% of its market capitalisation...

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