Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the automaker’s bitcoin investment was “less dumb” than holding cash, and it has already paid off. An analyst estimates that Tesla has already raked in approximately $1 billion in profit on its bitcoin investment due to the cryptocurrency’s soaring price.
Analyst estimates Tesla's bitcoin investment paid off
In a note released over the weekend, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said Tesla is set to make more on its bitcoin investment than profits from selling its electric vehicles in all of 2020. He did not explain how he reached his calculation of $1 billion in profits.
CNBC notes that the bitcoin price increased from an intraday high of $34,793.45 at the end of January to an intraday high of $57,487.03 on Feb. 20. That marks an approximately 65% jump, which would mean a profit of about $975 million for Tesla's $1.5 billion bitcoin investment. The intraday high last Monday was $58,332.36, which would have temporarily put the automaker's profit at more than $1 billion.
Earlier this month, the automaker revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency. Tesla said it made the purchase in January for "more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash."
It's unclear whether the automaker sold any of the bitcoin after the price increased. The bitcoin price has climbed 94% so far this year. The cryptocurrency's market cap surpassed $1 trillion last week for the first time.
Bitcoin price pulls back, thanks to Musk
Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the biggest publicly traded companies still run by their founders. Tesla made its $1.5 billion bitcoin investment after Musk, one of its co-founders, tweeted his change in stance on the cryptocurrency. He just became a supporter of it this year.
Since the bitcoin price jumped after Tesla revealed its purchase and after Musk's tweet in support of the cryptocurrency, it comes as little surprise that the price fell after Musk tweeted again. Bloomberg notes that after the automaker's investment last week, the bitcoin price surged 20% to surpass $58,000 for the first time.
Over the weekend, Musk tweeted that bitcoin prices "seem high." This month alone, the cryptocurrency's value is up by over 60%. It reached yet another new high on Sunday, approaching $59,000. Bloomberg suggests that the weekend volatility in bitcoin prices may be driven by people trading the cryptocurrency at home.
The news outlet also suggests that institutional investors, who work Monday through Friday, may have started selling today after Musk's tweet. The price pulled back today, falling below $53,000.