Tesla’s decision to offload most of its Bitcoin (BTC) treasuries netted the company a hefty profit in the second quarter, even as crypto prices plunged into a bear market.
In the first six months of 2022, Tesla recorded $170 million of impairment losses “resulting from changes to the carrying value” of its Bitcoin holdings, according to an official Form 10-Q filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. After selling 75% of its BTC stash for dollars in the second quarter, the company netted a realized gain of $64 million.
In finance, an impairment loss occurs when the fair value of an asset held by a company falls below the carrying value of the investment.
Tesla recorded per-share earnings of $2.27 in the second quarter on revenues of $16.93 billion. Although profitability was down compared with the first quarter, it was up over the levels of a year ago. However, company profitability was impacted by rising inflation and growing competition for battery cells.
The electric vehicle maker still has 10,800 BTC on its books, according to Bitcoin Treasuries. At a current price of around $22,000 BTC, Tesla’s digital asset holdings are worth roughly $237 million.
The 10-K disclosure didn’t reveal any new insights about Tesla’s digital asset strategy. However, the company did state that it may increase or decrease its holdings over time:
“As with any investment and consistent with how we manage fiat-based cash and cash equivalent accounts, we may increase or decrease our holdings of digital assets at any time based on the needs of the business and on our view of market and environmental conditions.”
The Asia Pacific region is seeing a major business shift with increasing numbers of new technology startups appearing, even as venture capital investment is decreasing compared to last year. A report from Big Four accountant KPMG and international banking company HSBC based on a survey of 6,472 Asian Pacific startups found that over a quarter of them are blockchain related.
Nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, led the way among sectors where Asian Pacific “emerging giants” were active, followed directly by decentralized finance, also known as DeFi. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure, quantum computing and robotic processing automation rounded out the top five sectors. Blockchain real estate and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) ranked 14th and 15th, respectively, on the same list.
Despite their strong collective presence, blockchain-related companies were most common in the lower ranks. Among the top 100 emerging giants, only five were blockchain-related, and only one, Hong Kong’s Catheon Gaming, a play-to-earn platform, ranked in the top 10 (in eighth place). Two crypto financial service unicorns — Hong Kong’s Amber Group and Singaporean Matrixport — did not make it into the top 100.
The report looked at 12 Asian Pacific countries, which accounted for 94.8% of all companies surveyed. The majority of new technology companies were located in Mainland China (32.8%) and India (30.1%). Japan (12.7%) and Australia (8.7%) trailed in third and fourth places. The report explained:
“The continuing growth of Asia’s middle classes, and especially the emergence of Gen Z consumers will be the biggest single factor driving digital economies across the region. But […] Asia’s more prosperous, ageing societies, too will also be rich sources of innovation.”
“The most successful companies are focusing on local specializations,” the report notes, citing “China’s capabilities in piloting and testing digital platforms” as an example. Although China has banned cryptocurrency trading, its e-CNY central bank digital currency is accepted by more than 4.5 million merchants across the country. India allows crypto trading but has complicated traders’ lives with a punishing tax regime.
A recent nonfungible token (NFT) listing on GameStop’s marketplace became the center of controversy in the NFT world. The listing received heavy backlash from the community, which prompted the marketplace to take action within a day, showing how a community can come together to reverse the wrong.
The NFT in question, titled “Falling Man,” showed a man in a space suit falling downwards. The NFT in question had quite a resemblance to the infamous 9/11 photo of a man falling to his death that has since s become a defining moment of the deadly attacks. Many believed the NFT was mimicking the 9/11 victim and also infringed on the copyright of the image taken by original photojournalist Richard Drew.
In another discussion on the meme stock subreddit GME_Meltdown, a user pointed out that the figure in the NFT is a rendering of an existing 3D model of a Russian flight suit created by an independent artist, which was used without the permission of the original artist.
The GameStop team eventually took down the NFT and even banned the creator behind the art from minting on the platform.
The crypto community demanded GameStop do better due diligence before approving any artform to its marketplace. One user wrote:
“It’s still not enough how do you even allow this it’s disgusting there needs to be a review team that looks into each NFT for shit like this or stolen art.”
GameStop didn't respond to Cointelegraph's request for comments at press time.
While GameStop faced the community backlash, the incident opened a Pandora’s box of evidence highlighting how for many, NFTs became a medium of making quick money at the cost of common human decency.
OpenSea, currently one of the most popular NFT marketplaces, has the “Falling Man” as NFT up for sale for nearly two months.
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