One of the ultimate joyrides as a human is riding a rollercoaster. The anticipation of sitting in the train, waiting for dispatch as you slowly climb up the first gigantic hill, all for the anticipation to break. Suddenly, you’re falling down a 200+ foot drop, awaiting the next rise, which will unequivocally result in another slight drop. A short time later, you’re right back to where you started, in a pavilion, waiting to get off of the ride.
Tesla’s Bitcoin investment has been a comparable scenario described above: a meteoric climb, succeeded by a sharp drop, followed by tiny peaks and valleys. Ultimately, Tesla is right back to where it started.
In the company’s 10-Q filing with the SEC earlier today, the electric car company based out of Northern California detailed its tumultuous experience with Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that could likely be attributed to most of the ranting and raving regarding digital assets. It allowed anyone who can access the document a peek into what kind of swings Tesla has been experiencing through its investment into Bitcoin, which was detailed in the 10-K filing after Q4 2020 results.
Climbing up the first hill
Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment started in the gate and quickly took off up the first hill of gains like a launch rollercoaster. The first hill lasted quite some time, as Bitcoin eclipsed $64,000 and put Tesla up a substantial sum. It is not known how many BTC Tesla received when it initially invested the $1.5 billion, but it is estimated that the price of the crypto was between $29,333 and $37,020. This would put Tesla’s potential holdings at between 37,020 to 51,137 BTC.
It was estimated that Tesla made close to or more than $1 billion as Bitcoin continued to rise in value through the early portion of 2021. According to an April report from Teslarati, “Even if Tesla only acquired the minimal amount of 37,020 Bitcoin in January, the company’s $1.5 billion investment would still be worth $2.3 billion today, hinting at a healthy profit of $800 million,” and that’s figure originates from the possibility of their lowest BTC investment. Tesla said it realized gains of $128 million from its digital assets in March 2021 alone.
After reaching all-time highs of over $64,829, Bitcoin started to tumble, bringing Tesla’s rollercoaster ride down its first and largest hill.
The Big Drop
The big drop occurred as Bitcoin began to slide in mid-May. From May 8th to the 22nd, Bitcoin slid from $58,788 to under $37,500. At one point, BTC even struck the $30,000 range before recovering to $38,000.
The slide was met with uncertainty, worry, and anxiety by many investors. But Musk solidified the fact that Tesla would keep its “diamond hands” and continue holding BTC, despite the volatility experienced during its epic fall.
The company wrote:
“During the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, we recorded $23 million and $50 million, respectively, of impairment losses on such digital assets.”
The Ride: Back to the Beginning
Through the tumultuous ride of the BTC rollercoaster through the first half of 2021, Tesla rode the hills, the turns, and loops and ended up right back where it started (basically). As of June 30, Tesla says the fair market value of such digital assets “was $1.47 billion.” Additionally, the company said that “as of June 30, 2021, the carrying value of our digital assets held was $1.31 billion, which reflects cumulative impairments of $50 million.”
It has been exciting, and it has been uncertain, but Tesla, like the rest of investors, is just along for the ride. Bitcoin’s volatility over the past few months may not have been expected by the diehard cryptocurrency supporters that have vocally supported it since its early days. Still, like anything else, it is an investment. Tesla is banking on a wider adoption of crypto in the coming months and years, something it has dabbled with in the past.