Tesla’s bitcoin holdings rise to nearly $2.5 billion

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Tesla’s bitcoin holdings have risen to almost $2.5 billion, the electric car-maker revealed through a new security filing published Wednesday. 

Its investment in bitcoin was worth $2.48 billion as of March 31, the company said, up from its initial investment of $1.5 billion that it disclosed in February. When the company disclosed its initial investment, it also said it planned to accept payments in bitcoin, which could have added to its holdings.

Shares of Tesla were down about 1% in early trading Wednesday.

Tesla managed to amass its pile of bitcoin, even while selling some during the first quarter of the year. The company said earlier this week that it made $101 million by selling some of the cryptocurrency, which helped it post its most profitable quarter on record. 

On a conference call with analysts on Monday, Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn elaborated on the company’s interest in the cryptocurrency and said Tesla intends to hold, long-term.

“Elon and I were looking for a place to store cash that wasn’t being immediately used, trying to get some level of return on this, but also preserve liquidity,” said Kirkhorn, who was officially appointed Tesla’s “master of coin” last month.

When Tesla disclosed its bitcoin holdings in February, the crypto was exchanging hands at about $38,540 per coin, according to data from Coindesk. By April 15, the digital coin closed at a price of $63,460 per coin and is now trading at about $54,700.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk came under a bit of fire after the disclosure of the company’s sale of bitcoin for publicly embracing it — helping run the price up and then selling.

Before Tesla’s disclosure, Musk was credited with increasing the prices of several cryptocurrencies, including dogecoin, by posting positive messages about them on Twitter.

Musk defended the sale on Twitter, saying Monday that, “I have not sold any of my Bitcoin. Tesla sold 10% of its holdings essentially to prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet.”

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