Elon Musk’s vow that Tesla will hold onto its billion-dollar-plus investment in bitcoin is paying off as ETF excitement drives the coin’s price to highs not seen since April.
The electric-car maker now holds 42,902 bitcoin, according to Bitcoin Treasuries. It added $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency to its balance sheet in February.
That investment is valued at $2.5 billion on Friday, after bitcoin climbed more than 3%, according to Coinbase data. The price of the token touched $60,000 but has since slipped back to $59,310 – still its highest level in five months.
This is not the first time Tesla’s holding has added $1 billion in worth. Its fair value was almost $2.5 billion in March, the company said in an SEC filing. Overall, the value of Tesla’s crypto investment has tracked the price moves for bitcoin since February.
The token has gained 23% over the past month on hopes the SEC will give the go-ahead for crypto exchange-traded funds. A report Friday that regulators are ready to allow bitcoin futures ETFs to trade next week has boosted the price.
“Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy,” its CEO Musk said in a tweet in May.
Musk is a crypto influencer whose comments have contributed to volatility in the price of dogecoin and shiba inu as well as bitcoin. The comment indicating Tesla had suspended vehicle purchases in bitcoin was followed by a drop in the token’s price.
A nonprofit group is suing Texas officials over the closing of public beaches for “SpaceX flight activities.”
Save RGV said the Boca Chica beach has been closed for SpaceX launches for over 450 hours per year since 2019.
SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment, but said in August that the group’s allegations were “not accurate.”
Environmentalists have sued Texas officials over claims they continually closed public beaches to allow SpaceX to test out its rockets.
An environmental nonprofit group, called Save Rio Grande Valley (Save RGV), filed the lawsuit in Cameron County state court on Monday, Reuters first reported. The court document claims that the repeated closure of public beaches along the Gulf Coast violates the Texas Constitution and “Texans essential right to access Texas public beaches.”
The lawsuit said that Cameron County, Texas General Land Office, and its commissioner George P. Bush have allowed the Boca Chica beach, an 8-mile stretch of land near Brownsville, to be closed for up to 450 hours per year so SpaceX can test its spacecrafts.
Save RGV said in its lawsuit that the land is part of a wildlife refuge in Cameron County and aims to prevent future closures of the land, as well as State Highway 4 – the only road that leads to the beach.
SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Save RGV’s lawsuit said a 2013 amendment to the Texas Open Beaches Act allowed the closure of public beaches located along the Gulf Coast “for space flight activities.” Since 2019, county officials have repeatedly closed-off the beach and State Highway 4 for various SpaceX launches, including its Falcon rockets, the lawsuit states.
The group also said that, per the amendment, the public was to be given at least 14 days notice before a closure went into place. But, Save RGV alleges the county often gave notice only hours before the land would be closed-off. The lawsuit alleges that there have been reports of SpaceX closing the beach on its own and extending closure hours without official county approval.
Save RGV says the amended law violates the Texas Constitution because it restricts public access to the land and claims the SpaceX closures have negatively impacted the ability of residents who live near the beach to fully enjoy their home, as well as prevented members of the nonprofit from participating in activities that help preserve local wildlife.
“This isn’t rocket science,” Jim Chapman, a board member of Save RGV, said in a statement to Reuters. “The Texas Constitution is crystal clear. In Texas, access to public beaches cannot be restricted.”
Save RGV has clashed with SpaceX in the past. It alerted the district attorney to the issue over the summer. At the time, SpaceX reportedly told the district attorney Save RGV’s allegations were “not accurate.”
Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration said it would extend a period for the public to submit comments on a draft report studying the environmental impacts of the proposed SpaceX rocket program in Boca Chica.
In August, “60 Minutes” reported it had obtained government documents showing SpaceX disrupted public access to the beach in “excess of 1,000 hours in 2019,” violating its FAA permit, which only allowed the areas to be closed for 300 hours per year.
“60 Minutes” also reported that SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Texas had created tension with local residents who claim the space company conducts tests with little warning – tests which have caused residents to evacuate their homes. They also alleged the tests led to brush fires and property damage.
The new price works out to around $2,000 per square ft., nearly double the per sq. ft. price for other houses in the area, according to Bay Area market reports.
The price cut comes on the heels of Musk’s announcement that Tesla – like many other companies in the tech sector, including tech giants Oracle and Hewlett Packard Enterprise – will be moving its headquarters from the San Francisco Bay Area to Texas.
According to the listing, the sprawling 16,000 square feet mansion sitting on 47 acres in Hillsborough, California was built in 1916. It has 10 bathrooms and seven bedrooms, a library, a music room, and a pool.
Musk bought the property for over $23 million in 2017.
Lee Jae-myung, a South Korean presidential candidate, is pushing for universal basic income.
The candidate touted a five-year plan to give residents 500,000 won, or $420, each month.
Universal basic income is rising in prominence in the US, with some cities implementing similar programs.
South Korea could become the first Asian country to implement universal basic income if the Democratic presidential candidate wins the upcoming election.
Lee Jae-myung, who won the Democratic Party’s primary race this past weekend and once said he aspired to be “a successful Bernie Sanders,” touted guaranteed monthly payments, no strings attached, for South Koreans should he win the presidential election. Under his five-year plan, South Koreans would initially receive a 1 million won, or $840, annual payment that would be expanded over the years until residents would get monthly payments of 500,000 won, or $420.
“Real freedom is possible only when basic life conditions are guaranteed in all areas including income, housing and financing,” Lee said during his acceptance speech on Sunday.
He added that he will work to “root out unfairness, inequality and corruption” and restore economic equality in the region.
The 57-year-old is currently governor of South Korea’s most populous Gyeonggi province, which surrounds Seoul, and during the pandemic, all residents in his jurisdiction received regular payments to help them remain financially stable in the midst of COVID-19.
But some critics are unsure how plausible implementing a universal basic income would be in South Korea, with some economists telling the Financial Times that guaranteed monthly payments would produce a “steroid effect,” but might not help root out economic inequality in the long-term.
Still, universal basic income is picking up steam globally. Insider previously reported on the growingnumber of cities and states in the US implementing versions of guaranteed payment programs, with California recently launching the nation’s largest statewide universal basic income program prioritized for pregnant people and those aging out of the foster system.
Some lawmakers in the US want it to become a permanent feature of America’s economy.
After the pandemic spurred Congress to approve three stimulus checks for Americans, some Democrats called to continue those checks well beyond the end of the pandemic, and in late March, amid infrastructure negotiations, 21 Democratic senators urged President Joe Biden in a letter to include recurring direct payments in his infrastructure plan, saying that when checks ran out after the CARES Act, poverty rose.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk even joined the conversation, saying during an August presentation that the rise of robots might compromise jobs that humans currently do, necessitating a form of guaranteed income.
“Essentially, in the future, physical work will be a choice,” Musk said during the presentation. “This is why I think long term there will need to be a universal basic income,” he added.
The US state’s revenue department sold almost 29,000 GameStop shares, or about 75% of its stake, likely pocketing about $5 million based on the stock’s average closing price in the period. It still owned close to 10,000 shares worth $1.7 million as of September 30, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.
The Alaskan agency started this year with roughly 43,000 GameStop shares, worth about $19 each or $802,000 in total at the time. The meme stock’s price surged as high as $483 at the height of the short squeeze, and it was still trading around $175 at the end of the third quarter. As a result, Alaska has made its money back several times over on GameStop.
Notably, the state’s revenue arm boosted its Tesla stake by 5% to about 134,000 shares last quarter. Tesla’s stock price also rose 14% in the period, meaning the position’s value jumped by 20% to $104 million.
Alaska owned only 2,000 shares of Elon Musk’s clean-energy company at the end of September 2020. It ramped up its stake to around 127,000 shares over the next three months, likely in response to Tesla joining the S&P 500 index. Its latest purchases suggest it remains bullish on the business.
Overall, the state’s stock portfolio rose in value by 13% to nearly $10 billion in the nine months to September 30. Alaska doesn’t levy tax on sales or on its residents’ personal incomes, so it relies on oil taxes and royalties, federal funding, and investments to fund its budget.
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta for drivers with “perfect” safety scores is delayed.
FSD Beta was originally planned to launch on Friday at midnight to approximately 1,000 drivers with safety scores of 100 out of 100.
Tesla’s Autopilot feature has been criticized by regulators and lawmakers who say the name makes drivers think the cars are autonomous.
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta for drivers with “perfect” safety scores was delayed on Saturday after CEO Elon Musk tweeted about “concerns.”
FSD Beta was originally planned to launch on Friday at midnight to approximately 1,000 drivers with safety scores of 100 out of 100, Musk wrote on Twitter on Thursday. After the first launch, FSD Beta was then supposed to roll out to divers with a score of 99 and below.
“A few last minute concerns about this build. Release likely on Sunday or Monday. Sorry for the delay,” Musk tweeted on Saturday morning.
FSD is an enhanced version of Autopilot, a driver-assistance software that comes with every Tesla vehicle. FSD, despite its name, does not make the car fully autonomous. FSD allows the vehicle to change lanes, park itself, and recognize traffic lights and stop signs. Tesla drivers with good safety scores were able to request FSD Beta in September, Insider reported.
To be eligible for FSD Beta drivers were graded off of five factors: forward-collision warnings per 1,000 miles, hard braking, aggressive turning, unsafe following, and forced autopilot disengagement, according to Tesla’s “safety score” guide.
“We are currently constructing Gigafactory Berlin under conditional permits in anticipation of being granted final permits,” Tesla said in its most recent quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in July.
There have also been environmental concerns, including worries about disturbing the local lizard population.
I didn’t go full Musk though – I bent the rules so that I wouldn’t skip breakfast or notch up 16-hour days (which is arguably counterproductive for most people). Instead, I applied the five-minute slots to my usual hours of between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
It’s almost impossible to get anything done properly in five minutes, other than the odd source email, or social-media post. Musk once told Y-Combinator that he spends 80% of his time dedicated to engineering and design, so it’s unlikely he actually limits himself to doing things in five minutes, either.
I still organized days into five-minute slots but for the majority, I bunched my slots together. I dedicated 12 five-minute slots in a row to writing up an interview on Wednesday at 9 a.m., for example. I also scheduled time for breaks and admin tasks.
Finally, I scheduled some time – six five-minute slots – at the end of the day to tie up important but non-essential tasks like reading an article that I stumbled across that day.
I was organized and got a lot more done
I have a habit of making tasks longer than they need to be – rewriting sentences repeatedly, for example. Limiting how long I had for a specific task meant that I got it done faster. Knowing I only had an hour to do it really focused my mind.
It also helped me cut out the unnecessary distractions that can drain productivity, like regularly checking my inbox or scrolling through social media.
But it required constant adjusting – which was annoying
Sometimes you can’t control when a company responds to a request for comment, or when a colleague comes to you with an unexpected task. In some cases, I also realized that I’d been overly ambitious when planning how quickly I could get certain tasks done.
It meant I had to constantly rethink my schedule, pushing things back or into the next day as tasks seeped into time that I had scheduled for others.
This probably gets easier as you start to understand exactly long things take, but it was initially frustrating. I also started to leave some blank space in my calendar to allow more flexibility.
There are some parts that I’ll stick with
Overall, as daily routines go, Musk’s is probably excessive for most workers.
But I will be continuing with some parts. Scheduling dedicated time, even for the smallest tasks, helped me get them done, and left me feeling more organized at the end of the day.
Housing prices near Tesla’s new Austin-based Gigafactory are surging.
Home prices in the county where the factory will be built were up 53.7% compared to last year.
CEO Elon Musk officially announced Tesla’s HQ move to Texas on Thursday after much speculation.
Housing prices surrounding Tesla’s new Austin-based Gigafactory are increasing as Tesla also prepares to move its corporate headquarters to Texas.
In September, home prices in Travis County, Texas, where the factory will be built, were up 53.7% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $363,000, according to Redfin. That’s more than a 26% increase compared to Austin, Texas as a whole.
Tesla confirmed the new factory’s location in July 2020 after a bidding process involving several other southern cities, Insider reported. Tesla was offered $65 million in tax rebates over 10 years to take over a concrete plant. The plant will become a 5 million-square-foot factory for Tesla’s Cybertruck, Semi truck, and Model 3 and Y.
Tesla said plans to hire up to 5,000 workers at a starting wage of $15 an hour for many of the low-skill manufacturing roles, according to Insider.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement that the company would relocate its headquarters to Texas at its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.
Homes for sale in the areas surrounding the plant have already started listing their proximity to the factory. A four-bedroom, three-bathroom house for sale in Austin, Texas is advertising a “great location- 13 min from Tesla,” on Redfin.
“I think there will be a premium on being close to Tesla HQ, especially since a portion of engineering jobs will have to be in person,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist, told Austin’s local news station KXAN in an email.
Redfin defines Travis County as a “very competitive” area for home buyers. The most popular homes can sell for about 12% above the list price and go pending in around 19 days, according to data from the real estate website.
Musk has already moved himself to the Lone Star State after fighting with California over its coronavirus restrictions, Insider reported. Musk already moved his charitable foundation to Texas, too, further fueling speculation that a new factory would soon follow. SpaceX, Musk’s other venture outside of Tesla, also has a launchpad in Texas.