The fall of bitcoin represented an accounting burden of $ 170 million for Tesla at the end of June

The company created the surprise in early 2021 by buying the equivalent of $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin. But the evolution of the course in recent months has weighed on the company’s accounts.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla said on Monday it had posted a $ 170 million charge on its accounts to record the depreciation of bitcoin’s value during the first half of the year.

In the same period, the group led by Elon Musk earned $ 64 million from the sale of bitcoin, a document sent to the US stock market policeman (SEC) reads.

The company created the surprise in early 2021 by buying the equivalent of $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin. It hasn’t bought any since, according to the group’s quarterly reports. When it released its results last week, Tesla announced it had sold 75% of its bitcoins at the end of June. In the first six of the year, bitcoin sales brought in $ 936 million in cash. To this must be added the sales made in the year 2021, or 272 million dollars. This is a total of $ 1208 million generated by the sale of cryptocurrencies since 2021.

At the same time, the company had also communicated that it had recognized an accounting charge for the depreciation of its assets linked to the decline in virtual currency, but did not specify the amount. This amortization does not correspond to a “real” loss (in cash) for the company but to a difference in the valuation of digital assets between the end of December and the end of June. However, this depreciation weighs on the company’s net profit. As of March 31, Tesla posted an accounting charge of $ 27 million related to the change in the value of its digital assets.

As of June 30, 2022, the market value of the company’s remaining bitcoin assets was $ 222 million (for a book value of $ 218 million).

“None of our Dogecoins were sold”

During a phone call with Wall Street analysts last week to present Tesla’s quarterly results, Elon Musk made it clear that recent bitcoin sales were not synonymous with distrust of the cryptocurrency.

“We are open to the idea of ​​increasing our bitcoin assets in the future,” assured the billionaire.

“We were just worried about the overall liquidity of the company due to the closures in China and we have not sold any of our Dogecoins (another cryptocurrency that Elon Musk likes, ed),” added the extravagant leader.

Since its peak in November 2021, bitcoin has lost nearly 70% of its value in a market wary of assets deemed risky.

Tesla also indicated, in its stock exchange filing, that it received a second citation from the SEC relating to a settlement that theoretically required it to have its messages directly related to Tesla’s business approved by a competent lawyer, before posting them on social media. average.

That obligation was imposed by the SEC after a tweet published in 2018, in which Elon Musk claimed he had the proper funding to remove Tesla from the stock market, without providing evidence.

The SEC had sent a first request in November 2021 and returned a second in mid-June, both requesting information on the “governance processes to verify compliance” with the agreement.

Thomas Leroy with AFP BFM Affari Journalist

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