RPT-Reddit user claiming to be Tesla insider appeared to reveal bitcoin buy a month ago

(Repeats for wider audience with no changes to text)

Feb 9 (Reuters) - A Reddit user claiming to be a Tesla insider appeared to announce the carmaker’s purchase of bitcoin a month ago, according to a January post on the platform that said the electric carmaker had bought $800 million worth of Bitcoin.

The post here received little attention when it appeared, with the date on it reading Jan 2, but it is getting a second look now, a day after the electric carmaker, led by Elon Musk, disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in the cryptocurrency.

“I am a software dev working at R&D at Tesla in California, over the past 72 hours our company bought 24701 BTC at an average price of 33142$,” a user with the handle TSLAinsider posted in the bitcoin subreddit.

“I have no idea what will happen once this reaches the newspapers but I think the price will explode even more,” the user wrote.

Moderators in r/Tesla, a subreddit dedicated to posts on the electric carmaker, appeared to remove the post here. It was left up in r/bitcoin, where the cryptocurrency is discussed.

Reddit posters were revisiting the post on Tuesday in the light of Tesla’s disclosure. “Thanks for the heads up Elon,” noted one poster, Valoured, on Tuesday. “Send me a PM before you make your next move please.”

Reuters could not verify the user’s identity, whether the user is a Tesla employee or whether the post was modified from the original. A message to TSLAinsider was not immediately returned. Tesla did not immediately respond to an email to its press office.

Tesla said in its annual report published Monday that the decision to move nearly 8% of its reserves into bitcoin was part of its broad investment policy as a company aimed at diversifying and maximizing its returns on cash, including holding gold.

“I told you so,” TSLAinsider wrote on Monday. “I got laughed at and downvoted.” (Reporting by Bhargav Acharya; Writing and additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Megan Davies and Steve Orlofsky)