Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) shook the crypto markets yet again when it announced in its quarterly earnings report that it had sold $936 million worth of its Bitcoin holdings. This constitutes about 75% of its holdings in the cryptocurrency, leaving about $200 million of Bitcoin in Tesla’s coffers. But what price did Tesla manage to sell its Bitcoin for? Keep reading to find out!
Tesla’s History With Crypto
Tesla and cryptocurrency have been intertwined heavily in the past few years and not just because of the company’s CEO, Elon Musk. In January 2021, Tesla took a deep dive into the cryptocurrency world. It bought about $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin when it was selling for $32,000 to $33,000. For a while it seemed like an incredible bet. Later in the year when Bitcoin hit all time highs it seemed to be bringing in more profit than the company had ever earned making cars. It sold about 10% a few months later for a $272 million earnings boost in the first quarter. Unfortunately for Tesla, that was its only Bitcoin sale until recently.
Tesla dove deeper into crypto when it started accepting Bitcoin payments in June of that year, even for car sales. Tesla also announced in early 2022 that it would start accepting Dogecoin payments for merchandise (not cars). It eventually accepted Doge payments for a few supercharging stations too. It stopped taking Bitcoin payments after concerns that the energy used to mine Bitcoin was contributing to climate change. Musk said that Tesla would reconsider this decision when 50% of this energy came from renewable sources. However, the Bitcoin Mining Council announced months ago that Bitcoin reached 57% renewable energy and Musk hasn’t returned to the issue yet.
Tesla’s Bitcoin Sale
Tesla’s second quarter earnings report announced the sale of the $936 million of Bitcoin. Musk tempered the crypto community's fears and frustrations by adding that the sale should not be taken as a verdict on Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in general. He explained the reason for the sale was to bolster the overall liquidity of the company. It was driven by fears that the company’s monolithic Shanghai factory wouldn’t be able to reopen soon due to China’s extremely strict Zero Covid policy.
Tesla did not reveal the exact prices that it sold its Bitcoin at but the average price per coin can still be deduced. It sold 75% of its roughly 42,000 Bitcoin for $936 million. This adds up to an average price of about $29,700 per Bitcoin. The sale turned out to be well timed even though the Shanghai factory was able to reopen at roughly 70% capacity soon after. Tesla was able to sell the Bitcoin before it crashed below $18,000 within a couple of months.
The End of Tesla’s Crypto Era?
Tesla’s earnings call was a bit of a shock for the crypto community. However, in the end, the Bitcoin sale didn’t affect the markets as much as many expected it would. Musk’s reassuring comments that the sale wasn’t a verdict on crypto likely helped. He also mentioned that Tesla was still open to buying more Bitcoin in the future. The company is still holding the Dogecoin it brought in from merch sales too.
Interestingly, recent reports as of the middle of October 2022 indicate that Elon Musk may be HODLing as much as $218 million in Bitcoin. This may mean that the saga is not over, especially as investors remain optimistic and hope cryptocurrency values will recover.
What price did Tesla sell its Bitcoin at?
Tesla sold 75% its Bitcoin for an average price of about $29,700 per Bitcoin, totaling $936 million.
Will Tesla accept Bitcoin again?
Elon Musk said that it would accept Bitcoin once at least 50% of the energy used to mine it came from renewable sources. This seems to be the case already and Musk hasn’t responded to this yet.
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