By Brenda Ngari
American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla sold some of its bitcoin holdings in the first quarter of 2021, generating $272 million in proceeds and a $101 million “positive impact”, according to the company’s earnings call on Monday.
Tesla sent shockwaves across the world in February after disclosing that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin with some of its excess cash. In addition to adding BTC to its balance sheet, the company also revealed that it would be accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its electric cars without converting it into fiat money.
Notably, Tesla’s move into bitcoin has proven lucrative as it accrued more revenue in the space of two months from its bitcoin purchase than it did from the sale of its electric cars. This is because the price of bitcoin surged throughout the first quarter, boosted by bullish news and robust fundamentals. For perspective, BTC was valued at around $32K at the beginning of the year. It is now valued at over $54,000, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
During the call, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn posited that the firm is planning to continue holding BTC in its treasury and also accumulating it from their car sales, further positing that “from corporate treasury perspective, we’ve been quite pleased with how much liquidity there is in the bitcoin market.”
Nonetheless, the reports of Tesla cashing out some of its bitcoin did not sit well with many and some critics even claimed that Elon Musk intentionally pumped the price of the flagship cryptocurrency so that he could sell at a profit.
Elon Musk: “I Have Not Sold Any Of My Bitcoin”
Founder of Barstool Sports Dave Portnoy took to Twitter on Monday to accuse Musk of selling bitcoin and making a “fortune” from it after inflating its price with his public statements endorsing BTC.
In response, Musk assured the crypto community that he had not sold any of his personal bitcoin stash. The CEO also indicated that Tesla had sold only 10% of its BTC and it was a move intended to prove bitcoin’s ability to be used as a liquid asset instead of fiat currency.