Tesla Inc., the electric carmaker headed by Elon Musk, made a $140 million loss on its Bitcoin investments in 2022, according to filings released to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company told the regulator that it lost $204 million on Bitcoin overall, although it did manage to recover $64 million through trading.
The losses came as the price of Bitcoin dropped substantially throughout the year, with the digital asset losing more than 50 percent of its value by December. Musk had previously been optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency, believing it to be a long-term asset. However, Tesla’s losses have cast doubt over the CEO’s enthusiasm for the asset.
The losses add to a turbulent year for Tesla, which saw its shares slip by about 20 percent in 2020 despite a remarkable run earlier in the year. The company also saw its market value drop from more than $800 billion to around $700 billion.
Despite the losses, Tesla still holds a substantial amount of Bitcoin in its portfolio. According to its latest filing, the company holds about $1.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency. This amounts to about 5 percent of its total assets.
The losses on Bitcoin could be a major blow to Tesla’s bottom line, considering the company has relied heavily on stock sales and debt to finance its operations. Musk has previously said that Tesla would not sell any of its Bitcoin holdings, and the company has not yet commented on its current position.
The losses also come when cryptocurrency becomes increasingly popular with other major companies. MicroStrategy, Square, and Paypal are just a few of the major companies that have bet big on Bitcoin, and their investments are paying off.
It remains to be seen whether Tesla will continue to hold its Bitcoin investments long-term or will be forced to sell its holdings to recoup its losses. However, one thing is certain – the Bitcoin losses are a major setback for the company and have cast a shadow of doubt over the future of Elon Musk’s cryptocurrency aspirations.