Tesla’s Bitcoin losses rise to $170M in first 9 months of 2022

According to Tesla’s latest Q3 earnings report filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer disclosed that it had invested a total of $1.5 billion into Bitcoin (BTC) since early 2021. Of this amount, the firm is currently sitting at a $170 million unrealized loss from the change in the fair value of its investment. This is offset by a gain of $64 million from realized profits on Bitcoin at various points in the last two years, leading to a net loss of $106 million by the end of Q3. 

Tesla’s losses did not materially affect its core operations, the filing said. Year-over-year, the EV manufacturer’s profits grew 169% from $3.3 billion in the first nine months of 2021. However, Tesla says that it’s only holding roughl$218 million worth of Bitcoin on its balance sheet. 

Under accounting rules, digital assets are considered indefinite-lived intangible assets. As a result, any decrease in their fair values will require Tesla to recognize impairment charges, whereas the firm does not make upward revisions for any price increases until a sale. In such beneficial tax treatment, losses can be deducted against profits to reduce tax liabilities, while capital gains are not taxed until the time of sale.

Related: Binance, Sequoia still backing Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter

Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is well-known in the crypto space for his support of digital assets, affinity for memecoins such as Dogecoin (DOGE), and $44 billion ambition to take over social media giant Twitter. Throughout the ongoing acquisition, the billionaire tech celebrity has pledged to “eliminate the spam and scam bots from the platform,” stating: “They make the product much worse. If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw, we’d have 100 billion Dogecoin.”