Musk sells a ton of bitcoin

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  • Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of “digital assets,” then sold $272 million worth, during Q1, according to an earnings release Monday.
  • It also recorded a $101 million “positive impact” toward profitability from sales of bitcoin during the quarter; it accounted for this as a reduction in operating expenses.
  • It’s not immediately obvious how trading in bitcoin, which requires significant amounts of energy to mine, fits in with Tesla’s vision of accelerating the transition to sustainable energy.

Tesla reported first-quarter results on Monday, including a record quarterly net profit of $438 million on a GAAP basis.

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As usual, those profits were buoyed by sales of environmental regulatory credits. But in a new wrinkle this quarter, the company’s sales of bitcoin during the quarter also contributed $101 million toward the bottom line.

In February, Tesla made waves when it announced a $1.5 billion purchase of bitcoin and said it may continue investing in cryptocurrency more broadly.

On Monday, Tesla’s shareholder update revealed that sales of bitcoin made a $101 million “positive impact” to the company’s profitability during the period ending March 31, 2021.

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