Tesla dumps Bitcoin amid pressure from factory shutdown

Tesla sold more than $900 million worth of bitcoin last quarter, shedding 75 percent of its holdings and prompting the overall market value of the cryptocurrency to drop.

The company sold it off because of issues with car production in China, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during an earnings call Wednesday.

“The reason we sold a bunch of our bitcoin holdings was that we were uncertain as to when the covid lockdowns in China would alleviate,” Musk said. “We are certainly open to increasing our bitcoin holdings in the future, so this should not be taken as some verdict on bitcoin — it’s just that we were concerned about overall liquidity to the company.”

Musk was enthusiastic about bitcoin last year when the company first announced it was investing $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency, saying on Twitter that the electric car manufacturer would soon accept the digital currency as payment. He said Tesla would not convert its bitcoin received from payments to fiat currency, or paper money.

But he soon dialed back his enthusiasm, saying in May 2021 he was concerned about bitcoin’s potential environmental impact — because the currency relies on networks of powerful computers — but still the company would “not be selling any bitcoin.”

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