In its recently filed Form 10-K to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the EV maker revealed that the fair market value of its bitcoin holdings amounted to $1.99 billion as of the end of 2021. Tesla initially invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin during the first quarter of 2021.
Bitcoin is a digital asset, and thus is characteristically volatile. Tesla definitely seemed to have felt this over the course of 2021, with the company noting that it had registered about $101 million in impairment losses last year due to the digital asset’s value. The company also gained $128 million on sales of bitcoin after it sold a part of its holdings in March 2021.
The relevant section of Tesla’s Form 10-K could be viewed below:
“In the first quarter of 2021, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin. We believe in the long-term potential of digital assets both as an investment and also as a liquid alternative to cash. As with any investment and consistent with how we manage fiat-based cash and cash-equivalent accounts, we may increase or decrease our holdings of digital assets at any time based on the needs of the business and our view of market and environmental conditions. Digital assets are considered indefinite-lived intangible assets under applicable accounting rules.
“Accordingly, any decrease in their fair values below our carrying values for such assets at any time subsequent to their acquisition will require us to recognize impairment charges, whereas we may make no upward revisions for any market price increases until a sale. For any digital assets held now or in the future, these charges may negatively impact our profitability in the periods in which such impairments occur even if the overall market values of these assets increase. For example, in the year ended December 31, 2021, we recorded approximately $101 million of impairment losses resulting from changes to the carrying value of our bitcoin and gains of $128 million on certain sales of bitcoin by us.”
Tesla accepted bitcoin as a payment option for its all-electric vehicles briefly last year, though CEO Elon Musk eventually had a change of heart over the digital currency’s significant environmental impact. That being said, Tesla noted in its Form 10-K that the company remains a believer in the potential of digital assets like bitcoin, both as an investment and as a liquid alternative to cash.
“We continue adapting our investment strategy to meet our liquidity and risk objectives, such as investing in U.S. government and other marketable securities, digital assets and providing product related financing. In the first quarter of 2021, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin. The fair market value of our bitcoin holdings as of December 31, 2021 was $1.99 billion.
“We believe in the long-term potential of digital assets both as an investment and also as a liquid alternative to cash. As with any investment and consistent with how we manage fiat-based cash and cash equivalent accounts, we may increase or decrease our holdings of digital assets at any time based on the needs of the business and our view of market and environmental conditions. However, digital assets may be subject to volatile market prices, which may be unfavorable at the times when we may want or need to liquidate them.”
While Tesla is yet to reinstate bitcoin payments for its products, the company has been experimenting with another digital asset as a payment option. Just last month, Tesla launched the option to pay for some select merchandise in the Tesla Shop using Dogecoin, a meme-inspired cryptocurrency that CEO Elon Musk is particularly fond of. Unlike the high-ticket items that were available for bitcoin transactions in the past, however, Dogecoin purchases on the Tesla Shop were limited to small items such as the Giga Texas Belt Buckle, Cyberwhistle, and the Cyberquad for Kids.
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