Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin early in 2021. Following that, the automaker began accepting cryptocurrency as payment for new vehicles.
Tesla then removed the Bitcoin payment option a few days later, taking a step back with crypto. Concerns were raised about the energy needed by the Bitcoin network:
Tesla has suspended the use of Bitcoin for vehicle purchases. We are concerned about the rapid increase in fossil fuel use for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the highest emissions of any fuel.
Many Tesla members expressed this concern when the company announced its Bitcoin investment, and many were angry that the company didn’t think about it in the first place.
Tesla indicated at the time that they would not sell their stake in Bitcoin and that they plan to resume taking Bitcoin payments once the network shows a higher mix of renewable energy.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he expects the company will accept Bitcoins again as Bitcoin mining’s energy mix has improved since last summer.
That has yet to happen, but Tesla holds the crypto currency and gave an update in its latest 10K SEC filing today.
At current prices, the automaker holds roughly $2 billion in Bitcoin, after selling a portion of its position to test liquidity:
“We bought and received $1.50 billion of bitcoin during the year ended December 31, 2021. For the year ended December 31, 2021, we recorded $101 million in impairment losses on such digital assets. In March 2021, we also realized gains of $128 million from the sale of some of our holdings. These gains are presented in Restructuring and other in the consolidated statement of operations, net of impairment losses. The carrying value of our digital assets was $1.26 billion as of December 31, 2021, which reflects cumulative impairments of $101 million. As of December 31, 2021, the fair market value of such digital assets was $1.99 billion.”
During a price surge in bitcoin last year, Tesla briefly gained $1 billion.
Bitcoin and the broader crypto market have since crashed, but prices have been going up again over the last few weeks – with Bitcoin up 15% in the last week alone.