Tesla is sitting on roughly $2.5billion (£1.79bn) worth of Bitcoin, according to a securities filing, giving the company a significant gain on paper only a few months after investing. The automaker said its investment in the cryptocurrency was worth $2.48billion (£1.78bn) at the end of March. The company’s CEO Elon Musk announced earlier this year that it had purchased $1.5billion (£1.07bn) worth of Bitcoin and that it was planning to accept the crypto coins as payment for its vehicles.
At the end of April, Tesla revealed it registered a net gain of $101million (£72m) from sales of Bitcoin during the quarter, helping to boost its net profits to a record high in the first quarter.
Tesla does not account for Bitcoin as a mark-to-market asset, meaning it only recognises an earnings benefit if it sells to lock in the gains.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, though, Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner at Informed Choice, warned Mr Musk’s move could have easily gone either way.
He explained: “[Bitcoin] is not an investment.
“It is purely speculative and it is something that doesn’t have any intrinsic value.
“It’s just based on whether or not someone is prepared to pay a higher price for what you owe.
“The problem with Bitcoin is also that it tries to do too many things at once.
“Some people treat it as a store of value, like gold. Others treat it as a currency and others as an investment.
“Unless it picks one function, it is likely to continue with this price volatility going all over the place.”
When asked about Tesla’s investment in the cryptocurrency, Mr Bamford said: “It is fascinating…
“They made more money from Bitcoin than selling cars.
“But again it was a speculative move.
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The video, titled ‘Bill Gates: The Bitcoin Panic of 2021’ rolled to the “earliest clip” of Mr Gates discussing the coin in May 2013.
He said: “I think it is a tour de force.
“It’s an area where governments are going to maintain a dominant role.”
The analysis then fast-forwarded to a 2021 interview with Mr Gates, to see how his opinion had changed.
He said: “I don’t own Bitcoin, I’m not shorting it, so I take a neutral view.
“Moving money into a digital form and getting transaction costs down is something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries.
But there we do it so you can reverse transactions, so you have total visibility of who’s doing what.
“But Bitcoin can go up and down just based on mania. You don’t have a way of predicting how it will progress.”
The video claimed the comments showed that Mr Gates is “clear in his mind” that Bitcoin is a “bubble which will burst”.
Express.co.uk does not give financial advice. The journalists who worked on this article do not own Bitcoin.