Tesla second-quarter earnings report contained a surprise that rocked the crypto markets on Wednesday. The automaker claims to have made $936 million from the sale of “digital assets,” leading analysts to conclude that the company sold about 75% of its total bitcoin holdings. The company says it still owns $218 million worth of cryptocurrency.
According to CoinDesk calculations, Tesla’s sold its holdings when the coin was trading at around $29,000/bitcoin. “Bitcoin ended the second quarter at around $18,700, which means Tesla avoided a significant loss charge on its holdings by selling earlier in the quarter,” according to the report.
Bitcoin fell 1.7% when this news broke.
Why did a car manufacturer own so many bitcoins?
This is far from first time Tesla – or CEO Elon Musk – has moved the crypto market. Last February, the automaker announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins. This news brought the price of one bitcoin past $43,000 for the first time.
The following month, Musk again sent bitcoin prices to record levels with a tweet announcing that Tesla would accept bitcoin payments.
When Tesla reversed the policy 2 months later, the price of bitcoin fell 20%. In a tweet citing environmental concerns, Musk said, “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we plan to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. “
According to documents released Wednesday, the company maintained its position for more than a year after Musk’s tweet.
Wednesday’s findings also revealed that Tesla beat analysts’ expectations, bringing about $2.5 billion in revenue.