Tesla’s bitcoin holdings suffered a $140 million net loss last year

Tesla has revealed that its bitcoin holdings lost $204 million of value last year In a new regulatory filing, which was partially offset by gains of $64 million from converting the digital currency into fiat. Overall, it suggests the company’s bitcoin investment resulted in a net loss of $140 million throughout the course of 2022, TechCrunch reports.

That’s a lot of money, but it’s small in comparison to Tesla’s initial bitcoin investment announced in February 2021, when it said it had bought $1.5 billion of the digital currency and planned to start accepting it as payment for its vehicles. But it didn’t hold on to the bulk of this investment for long. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed in June 2021 that it had already sold 10 percent of its bitcoin holdings, apparently to confirm it “could be liquidated easily without moving [the] market,” and by July 2022 the company had sold three quarters of its bitcoin purchases. 

As of December 31st, 2022, Tesla says it held $191 million in bitcoin at fair market value. That’s compared to $1.99 billion on December 31st, 2021.

Screenshot of Elon Musk tweet saying tesla has sold 10 percent of its bitcoin.

Musk said Tesla had sold 10 percent of its bitcoin as of June 2021.
Screenshot: Twitter

The company’s experiment with accepting bitcoin as payment for its cars lasted an even shorter period of time. It went live in March 2021 but was pulled in May less than two months later, with the company citing the carbon emissions associated with mining the cryptocurrency. 

Overall, bitcoin has lost value between when Tesla announced its initial purchase and now. The cryptocurrency now trades at almost half the price as it did when Tesla announced its initial investment. It’s worth a little under $23,000 today, down from around $40,000 in early February 2021 when the purchase was announced. At its peak in November 2021, bitcoin hit a peak price of around $65,000. 

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