Tesla Reports Record Earnings This Quarter Partially Due to Bitcoin

Elon Musk, however, said the sale of Bitcoin was to prove a point rather than make a profit.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Illustration of Tesla logo with BitcoinsiStock

Tesla has a long history of strong earnings but this quarter the firm outdid itself with a little help from Bitcoin. According to its quarterly earnings report, the company reported $438 million in net income for the quarter, with $101 million coming from selling Bitcoin.

Tesla achieved this by investing $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency earlier this year and then selling ten percent of its holdings, reported NPR. The company also reported record production figures.

"Elon and I were looking for a place to store cash that wasn't being immediately used, trying to get some level of return on this, but also preserve liquidity," Zach Kirkhorn, Tesla's chief financial officer said on the earnings call.

"Bitcoin seemed at the time, and so far has proven to be, a good decision — a good place to place some of our cash that's not immediately being used," he said.

But Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the sale of Bitcoin was to prove a point rather than make a profit.

"Tesla sold 10% of its holdings essentially to prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on the balance sheet," added Musk in a tweet.

However, mining Bitcoin is very energy-intensive and polluting which goes against Tesla's image of being a green company. Some researchers have found that the volatile cryptocurrency consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year, more than the entire country of Argentina.

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