Tesla confirms first major failure related to bitcoin investment

Announced by CEO Elon Musk just as the price of bitcoin was nearing all-time highs, Tesla’s roughly $2 billion investment in cryptocurrencies was largely unloaded in the middle of last year, with Tesla-owned cryptocurrencies most likely sold below their purchase price. But Tesla reportedly only gave up 75% of its holdings, keeping some of the funds in anticipation of better times for bitcoin prices.

Meanwhile, the gradual decline of the cryptocurrency market has turned into a prolonged “Bear Market”, the phrase borrowed from conventional stock markets translating into a long period of apathy as investors have left or avoided placing funds in the market. Although bitcoin’s stock prices are showing some signs of recovery, the loss has already been accounted for in Tesla’s latest investor newsletter. The company attributes a net loss of $204 million to cryptocurrency investments, partly recovered through speculative trades that generated $64 million in revenue. In other words, the net loss is “only” $140 million, based on cryptocurrency funds of about $2 billion placed in the first quarter of 2021.

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Surely, if the investors appointed by the company to manage these funds hadn’t gotten the okay to unload 75% of the initial cryptocurrency investment early, the actual losses would have been much higher.

For reference, Elon Musk’s announcement of Tesla’s investment in cryptocurrencies came at a time when bitcoin prices had just surpassed the $35,000 threshold, with a simple Twitter post pushing prices over the $40,000 threshold. Similarly, Tesla’s confirmed losses are expected to add to general investor pessimism, contributing to the overall decline in the cryptocurrency market.

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