Did Tesla buy bitcoin again?

  • Tesla’s bitcoin holdings have reportedly increased to 11,509, suggesting a new purchase if Arkham’s data is accurate, despite Tesla not updating its bitcoin holding figures from the previously stated 9,720.
  • Tesla initially bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in 2021 and has fluctuated in its stance towards Bitcoin, citing environmental concerns for mining practices as one reason for selling off a significant portion of its holdings in 2022.
  • The actual status of Tesla’s bitcoin investments, including any recent acquisitions, will likely be clarified in the company’s upcoming financial report.

On March 7, according to Arkham data, Tesla‘s bitcoin holdings reached 11,509, which means that, if the data is accurate, Tesla has bought bitcoin again after many years.

Previously, according to data tracked by bitcoin Treasuries, Tesla’s holding of 9,720 BTC had made it the third largest public holder of the asset, following software company MicroStrategy and mining company Marathon. It is reported that Tesla had sold 4,320 bitcoins in 2021 and another 29,160 bitcoins in 2022, maintaining its bitcoin holdings at 9,720 throughout 2023. Now, Tesla has increased its holdings by 1,789 bitcoins using the same address, bringing its total to 11,509.

Also read: Bitcoin surges to all-time high, fuels altcoin recovery

Also read: Institutional investment boosts bitcoin’s sustainability, says Reuters

Tesla has not updated its increase in bitcoin holdings

However, monitoring shows that the last transaction recorded for the wallet holding Tesla’s 11,509 BTC was two years ago. In January this year, CoinDesk reported, according to Tesla’s financial statements, there had been no change in its bitcoin holdings in the past three months. Moreover, Tesla has not updated its increase in bitcoin holdings, with the official interface still displaying 9,720.

If Arkham’s on-chain tracking is accurate, Tesla is likely to announce the increase in its next financial report.

Tesla’s first bitcoin purchase occurred in February 2021, as shown in an announcement submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Tesla, stating that the company had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. It also indicated that it expected to soon start accepting Bitcoin as payment for its cars and other products. At that time, the price of bitcoin was under $39,000. After being reported by the media, the price of bitcoin continued to soar, reaching over $50,000.

Tesla’s massive purchase was not well received previously

Tesla’s massive purchase at that time was not well received. The Financial Times quoted Campbell Harvey from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, saying Tesla’s acquisition of Bitcoin was ‘unusual’ and ‘risky’, unable to hedge market uncertainties. If bitcoin was realised as a payment method, Tesla would become the first large enterprise to truly accept Bitcoin payments.

On May 13, 2021, Elon Musk CEO of Tesla, suddenly announced that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin payments, less than two months after they announced support for bitcoin payments. Bitcoin plummeted 15% in response, falling to $46,000, with over $2 billion liquidated across the network.

In the late first quarter of 2021, Tesla sold 10% of its bitcoin at a high point, increasing its earnings for the quarter by $272 million, while still holding $1.33 billion in bitcoin. During the bear market of 2021, Tesla did not engage in further bitcoin purchases or sales.

Entering 2022, as bitcoin began to crash, Tesla wrote down its bitcoin holdings, selling nearly 30,000 bitcoins at a price of $936 million, about 75% of its holdings. Tesla’s CEO Musk stated on the earnings call that the sale of bitcoin was only intended to improve the cash position, ‘not a verdict on bitcoin’. He had also revealed to the media that the sale of bitcoin was due to ‘concerns over the energy consumption of bitcoin mining operations using fossil fuels’.

Whether Tesla has truly bought bitcoin again will be known in the next financial report.


Chloe Chen

Chloe Chen is a junior writer at BTW Media. She graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and had various working experiences in the finance and fintech industry. Send tips to c.chen@btw.media.

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