Tesla sold $936 million in bitcoin in the second quarter

Quick Take

  • Tesla announced that it sold $936 million in bitcoin during the second quarter of 2022, according to the company’s earnings report.
  • With the sale, the company reduced its bitcoin holdings by 75%.

Tesla sold $936 million bitcoin in the second quarter of 2022, bringing its current holdings down to $218 million.

During a presentation on Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would be open to increasing bitcoin holdings in the future. He also explained that the company had decided to sell 75% of its holdings because it was concerned with liquidity due to covid shutdowns in China and that the move should not be seen as a "verdict on bitcoin."

The company listed the sum under "proceeds from sales of digital assets" in its second-quarter earnings results released on Wednesday. Tesla reported $106 million in charges on its remaining bitcoin as well as other impairments, offsetting the proceeds from the sale of its crypto holdings.

The electric car manufacturer initially bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin at the beginning of 2021, according to a February 2020 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It then sold $272 million of those holdings in the first quarter of 2021, which would have left the company with roughly $1.33 billion in BTC, according to prices at the time of the transaction.

Bitcoin's value in January varied between around $23,000 to $27,000 and hit an all-time high of roughly $65,000 in November 2021, according to TradingView. Recently, the coin has been trading in the low $20,000s, having temporarily surpassed $24,000 on Wednesday.

When it first added bitcoin to its holdings, Tesla also announced that it was considering accepting car payments in that currency "subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis." 

It eventually did start taking bitcoin payments in March 2021 but suspended them shortly after in May, with CEO Elon Musk saying in a tweet that the company was "concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions."

Musk added that Tesla would not be "selling any bitcoin" and that it would reconsider the coin as a form of payment if miners switched to more sustainable energy sources. In fact, the company had not announced any other sales of digital assets since the first quarter of 2021.

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Catarina is a reporter for The Block based in New York City. Before joining the team, she covered local news at Patch.com and at the New York Daily News. She started her career in Lisbon, Portugal, where she worked for publications such as Público and Sábado. She graduated from NYU with a MA in Journalism. Feel free to email any comments or tips to [email protected] or to reach out on Twitter (@catarinalsm).

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