After months of mixed messages from its CEO, electric car company Tesla has taken a more definitive stance, opting to leave the door open for further digital asset investments, a recent filing with the SEC reveals.
“We believe in the long-term potential of digital assets both as an investment and also as a liquid alternative to cash,” Tesla’s quarterly report SEC filing said.
Tesla reported $1.26 billion in holdings of digital assets in its first quarter earnings report last month, almost unchanged from its holdings at the end of the fourth quarter in 2021, when it made its first, and so far only, bitcoin investment of $1.5 billion. The fair market value of its digital assets holdings as of March 31, 2022 stands at $1.96 billion, the filing said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies has been playing out on the public stage for over a year.
In March 2021, a month after Tesla’s bitcoin purchase, Musk announced via Twitter that the company would be accepting bitcoin as a means of payment. Less than two months later, also in a tweet, Musk reneged on his previous statement, revealing that Tesla would not be accepting bitcoin due to the cryptocurrency’s environmental impact.
In July 2021, Musk clarified that if bitcoin mining moved in a sustainable direction, he would reconsider adding it as a payment method. In October, the company confirmed it was leaving the door open to crypto payments in an SEC filing.
Musk has long held an interest in a different cryptocurrency — the so-called meme coin Dogecoin. Tesla now accepts payments in Dogecoin on its online shop for select items, although its earnings report did not note any revenue from Dogecoin payments.
“As with any investment and consistent with how we manage fiat-based cash and cash-equivalent accounts, we may increase or decrease our holdings of digital assets at any time based on the needs of the business and our view of market and environmental conditions,” the quarterly filing said.