By Samuel Indyk
Tesla reported record earnings in the first quarter, bolstered by a $101mln gain on the sale of 10% of its Bitcoin holdings. The company previously announced it had bought $1.5bln worth of Bitcoin to diversify reserves.
However, the company’s CEO and co-founder clarified he had sold none of his personal stash. In a reply to Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy on Twitter, Musk said, “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.” It is unclear how many Bitcoins Musk owns.
Portnoy alleged Musk was involved in a ‘pump and dump’ scheme, boosting the price by constantly commenting on cryptocurrencies, then selling it at an inflated price.
When Tesla announced it had bought Bitcoin, it was the catalyst for the recent leg higher seen in the cryptocurrency space up until the Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) direct listing earlier this month.
When the announcement was made in February, Bitcoin was trading around the $40,000 mark. Earlier this month, the world’s largest cryptocurrency hit an all-time high just below $65,000 before the pullback last week amid fears of a regulatory crackdown.
The Turkish Central Bank took measures to ban payments for goods and services in cryptocurrencies. At least four cryptocurrency platforms have now gone offline in Turkey, according to the Financial Times.
Separately, US President Biden is reportedly set to raise the level of capital gains tax for wealthy individuals. Biden is set to give a speech later this week which will be closely watched by cryptocurrency investors.
Despite the sell-off last week Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have staged a rebound. After hitting its lowest level since early March on Sunday, Bitcoin has since bounced as demand is seen with traders happy to enter longs at more attractive entry levels.
At 13:40BST, Bitcoin was trading at around $54,800, up 2.5% over the last 24 hours.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk: I have not sold any of my Bitcoin
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.