Tesla’s involvement with Bitcoin began in February 2021 when the company announced a $1.5 billion investment in the popular digital asset.
Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), the electric car giant led by Elon Musk, recently released its Q4 earnings report, drawing attention to the absence or any mentions regarding sales or purchases of Bitcoin (BTC) during the quarter. Tesla’s decision to keep its Bitcoin holdings in Q4 2023 comes amid a broader trend of businesses adopting digital assets.
Tesla’s Unchanged Bitcoin Holdings
According to the Q4 2023 earnings report, Tesla did not make any sales or purchases of Bitcoin during the three months ended September. The company’s Bitcoin holdings, valued at $388 million at current prices, consist of approximately 9,720 Bitcoin.
This places Tesla as the fourth-largest publicly traded company with a sizable Bitcoin portfolio, trailing behind MicroStrategy Inc (NASDAQ: MSTR), Galaxy Digital Holdings, and Marathon Digital Holdings.
While Tesla’s Bitcoin reserve remained unchanged, MicroStrategy, led by founder and former CEO Michael Saylor, increased its Bitcoin holdings by 10% in December 2023. The company’s BTC holdings now account for more than 70% of its overall stock market value of $7.3 billion. Saylor has constantly stated that Bitcoin serves as a reserve asset for MicroStrategy, shielding the company from inflationary pressures caused by BTC price volatility.
Tesla’s involvement with Bitcoin began in February 2021 when the company announced a $1.5 billion investment in the popular digital asset. Initially amassing around 43,000 BTC, Tesla also made headlines by declaring that it would accept Bitcoin as payment for its electric vehicles at the time.
However, later in the same year, the company started selling its Bitcoin holdings to optimize its cash position amid uncertainties related to COVID-19 lockdowns. By Q2 2022, Tesla had sold 75% of its Bitcoin holdings.
In addition to the Bitcoin news, Tesla disclosed a fourth-quarter revenue of $25.17 billion, marking a 3% increase year-over-year but falling short of the anticipated $25.62 billion. Automotive revenue reached $21.56 billion, showing a 1% growth from the previous year.
Despite the revenue increase, Tesla’s earnings per share stood at 71 cents, narrowly missing analyst’s consensus estimates of 74 cents per share.
Bitcoin Market Overview
At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $40,233, reflecting a modest 0.18% increase in the last 24 hours according to data from CoinMarketCap.
The cryptocurrency experienced a relatively stable price following the approval of 11 spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 10. However, a steady decline began over the past weekend, culminating in a dip below the $40,000 price mark earlier this week and reaching a 7-week low of $38,550 as of January 23.
Experts attribute the recent drop in Bitcoin’s price to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) redemptions by bankruptcy estates such as FTX Derivatives Exchange. Since the conversion of GBTC into an ETF earlier in the month, investors have reportedly dumped $2 billion worth of shares, impacting the value of the top digital currency as seen over the past week.