The electric vehicle maker earned $64 million in profits from Bitcoin trading, which was offset by a $204-million impairment.
According to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 31, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla disclosed that it had recorded a $204-million gross impairment loss during 2022 on its Bitcoin holdings. Simultaneously, Tesla recorded a gain of $64 million from converting BTC into fiat currency at various points during the year, resulting in a net loss of $140 million from its cryptocurrency trading activities.
The filing further explained the impact of volatile crypto prices on Tesla’s bottom line:
“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.”
In the first quarter of 2021, Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. At the time, its founder, Elon Musk, announced that the electric vehicle manufacturer would start accepting BTC payments from U.S.-based consumers.
The policy was retracted just months later, as Musk cited the need for “confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by [Bitcoin] miners with positive future trend” before the company would accept the means of payment again. Tesla reportedly sold 75% of its BTC holdings in the second quarter of 2022.