Bitcoin bags untouched as firm splashes out on AI

Bitcoin bags untouched as firm splashes out on AI


Electric vehicle maker Tesla  made no changes to its sizeable Bitcoin (BTC) holdings — the fifth quarter in a row — though it has directed more funds to double its computing capacity amid artificial intelligence efforts.

Tesla’s Q3 2023 results released on Oct. 18 show as of Sept. 30, it held $184 million worth of digital assets — a portion of the $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin it first bought in March 2021.

The latest quarterly results mean it hasn’t bought or sold any Bitcoin since its sell-off of around 75% of its holdings in Q2 2022 when it fetched $936 million for more than 30,000 BTC.

Excerpt of Tesla’s Q3 2023 balance sheet with its digital asset holdings highlighted. Source: Tesla

On the other hand, Tesla reported it had “more than doubled the size” of its computing power for its AI projects, citing a growing training data set and switching the training of its humanoid robot Optimus to AI rather than coded software.

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“We have commissioned one of the world’s largest supercomputers to accelerate the pace of our AI development, with compute capacity more than doubling compared to Q2.”

Tesla saw its third-quarter earnings and profits miss Wall Street estimates, with reported total revenues of $23.35 billion. While this was up by nearly 9% from the prior-year period, it missed Zacks Investment Research’s estimate of $24.38 billion.

It also missed projected profits, with reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.66 compared to Zack’s $0.72 EPS estimate.

Total third-quarter operating expenses came in at $2.41 billion, marking more than a 13% increase from last quarter and over a 42.5% increase from the prior year.

Related: Bitcoin clean energy usage reportedly exceeds 50% — Will Tesla start accepting BTC payments?

Tesla’s research and development expenses were $1.16 billion in the quarter, a 58% jump from last year. It attributed the increases to its “Cybertruck, AI and other R&D projects.”

Tesla (TSLA) shares continued to fall after the bell to a low of $230.19. Source: Google Finance

Tesla shares were down nearly 4.8% on the day, closing at $242.68 and fell a further 4.25% in after-hours trading to $232.37 per Google Finance data.

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