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Elon Musk's Tesla Loses Money in Bitcoin Rout

The manufacturer of high-end electric vehicles had invested in bitcoin in February 2021.
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The few established companies that have added bitcoin to their balance sheets are now beginning to see this investment go awry. 

This now takes in Tesla  (TSLA) - , the market leader in high-end electric vehicles.

Tesla invested $1.5 billion in virtual currency on Feb. 8, 2021, and said it was beginning to accept it as payment for buying Tesla cars. 

The move came days after Chief Executive Elon Musk temporarily changed his Twitter mini-description to simply #bitcoin. The announcement was a mark of confidence in cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin prices then jumped past $42,000.

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Tesla claimed that this investment in bitcoin was aimed at diversifying its sources of liquidity and gaining flexibility in order to be able to largely remunerate its shareholders.

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But a few months later, in May 2021, Tesla indicated that it no longer accepted bitcoin as a means of payment. It cited as a reason that it wanted to preserve the environment since minting of bitcoins consumes enormous amounts of electricity. 

, Tesla's 43,200 bitcoins purchased for $1.5 billion are currently valued at $1.35 billion, down $150 million, or about 15%.

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The company is the only established company whose bitcoin-holding value has dropped into the red. But MicroStrategy  (MSTR) - , the company with the most bitcoins on its balance sheet, is not far from losing money, too. Its 129,218 bitcoins purchased at a value of $3.97 billion are currently valued at $4.04 billion.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are currently suffering from growth fears, like the equity market. Those concerns are prompting investors to liquidate risky assets, as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to curb inflation.