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Tesla is Still a Bitcoin Hodler, But What Would its $1.5 Billion be Worth Today?

Published July 20, 2023 11:33 AM
Omar Elorfaly
Published July 20, 2023 11:33 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla hasn’t lost much by selling most of its BTC a year ago
  • What Did Tesla Make by Selling its Bitcoin?
  • Is Tesla Still Interested in Crypto? 
  • Is Dogecoin Elon’s favorite?

Tesla, the world’s leading EV manufacturer, just released the company’s earnings report  for the second quarter of 2023. Within the report, the company details its expenditures and income from various sources, including returns on investments. However, the report shows that the company has made no sales of digital assets — not for this quarter, nor the two quarters prior.

Tesla reports that it holds $184 million in digital assets, a figure that hasn’t changed since Q3 of 2022. 

Considering the huge push both Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk made for crypto in 2021, the company’s inactivity in the crypto market tells a story about its change of attitude towards digital asset investment.

Tesla Dumped Bitcoin

If we rewind the clock all the way to 2021, we’ll remember how Tesla shocked the crypto market when it invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. According to the US Securities and Exchange filing , the company said that it “invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in Bitcoin under this policy and may acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term. Moreover, we expect to begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future.”

The move shocked the market as Bitcoin immediately rose in price by over $3,000.

Shortly after, Musk tweeted that the company “has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” adding that “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”

Fast forward just over a year, in Q2 2022, the company sold 75% of its Bitcoin stash for $936 million, realizing a profit of $128 million. 

The company then released its earning report reflecting the sale, stating, “As of the end of Q2, we have converted approximately 75% of our Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency.”

“Conversions in Q2 added $936M of cash to our balance sheet.”

The company also commented on the huge Bitcoin offload, saying it was meant to “prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet.”

Through quick maths, we can assume that Tesla sold its Bitcoin stash for an average of $29,000 per token. The figure is shockingly close to the price of BTC at the time this article is being written, floating around $30,000.

So, had Tesla held onto its Bitcoin stash for a year longer, the company would’ve sold the same tokens in 2023 for $968 million, rather than $936 million.

Meme-ing The Crypto Market

In the meantime, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has been fickle about his support for DogeCoin. As the company was making its huge purchase of Bitcoin, Musk posted a series of tweets to show support for DogeCoin, even momentarily including “Dogecoin” in his Twitter bio. 

As a result, DogeCoin saw a staggering 50% surge  in price. Elon even gave another 30% boost  to DogeCoin earlier this year when Twitter decided to change its logo from the typical blue bird to the DogeCoin logo.

Tesla still accepts DogeCoin as a form of payment on its websites. A whole FAQ page on Tesla’s website is dedicated to DogeCoin.

Perhaps, as a result, Evan Spencer of Evan Spencer Law, A New York plaintiffs’ lawyer, filed accusations against Tesla and its CEO, claiming market manipulation. 

The complaint  states that Musk and Tesla used eight crypto wallets to sell DogeCoin after hyping up the token through Twitter shenanigans.

Musk has responded with proof that he had disclaimed these wallets prior to the DogeCoin sale.

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