Bitcoin price slump cost Tesla $23 million — but the company still managed net profit of $1 billion
- Tesla’s second-quarter earnings show that its Bitcoin holding cost the company $23 million in impairment.
- The earnings also highlight that Tesla did not add or reduce its holdings of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency over the last three months.
- Tesla’s current Bitcoin holding is valued at $1,311 million.
We produced and delivered over 200,000 vehicles, achieved an operating margin of 11.0% and exceeded $1B of GAAP net income for the first time in our history.
According to Tesla’s second-quarter earnings, the company's only crypto purchase remains the $1.5 billion buy in February this year. Out of which, $272 million worth of Bitcoin was cashed out before the end of March.
|Time||Value of digital assets|
|As of 31 March 2021||$1331 million|
|As of 30 June 2021||$1311 million|
What is impairment cost?
Normally realised losses or gains are only accounted for once Bitcoin is sold, but it doesn’t work that way for companies. Accountants consider Bitcoin to be a ‘collectible’. This means any investments in the cryptocurrency are held at a cost. In Tesla’s case, Bitcoin is held at a cost of $27 million, which it calls 'impairment losses’.
The company also doesn’t follow the ‘end of the quarter’ approach. It takes an impairment any time that Bitcoin’s price falls during the quarter. This means that even if Bitcoin’s price manages to climb back up, Tesla doesn’t just get to mark the value of its holdings back up. And, the only way it can register a gain is by actually selling the Bitcoin it holds.
Tesla has no plans of selling anymore Bitcoin
According to Musk, Tesla does not have any plans to sell Bitcoin in the foreseeable future. This despite the rising concerns over Bitcoin’s impact on the environment. The singular sale was only to show that Bitcoin is a good alternative to cash.
Going forward, the cryptocurrency is being kept in reserve for possible transactions — even though the company decided to suspend the option of letting users buy a Tesla car with Bitcoin in May.
Tesla & Bitcoin https://t.co/YSswJmVZhP— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1620857174000
And, ‘future transactions’ may not be too far away. Last week, during the B Work cryptocurrency conference, Musk disclosed that Tesla could be ready to accept Bitcoin payments again if the reports indicating that more than 50% of global Bitcoin mining is being done using sustainable energy hold true to further scrutiny.
He also revealed that it’s not just him and Tesla that have Bitcoin holdings, but also Musk’s other brainchild, SpaceX — even though he did not specify the amount.
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