Elon Musk’s Tesla is up $1 billion on its $1.5 billion bitcoin investment as the cryptocurrency soars

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

  • The bitcoin bought by Tesla for $1.5 billion in January is worth $2.5 billion after bitcoin’s rally.
  • The token topped $60,000 briefly because the SEC looks likely to approve bitcoin futures ETFs.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is influential in crypto and his comments have driven volatility in bitcoin’s price.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

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 has sold only 10% of its bitcoin, and that was only to find out whether it was as liquid as cash on a balance sheet, Musk said.

“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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk congratulates Jeff Bezos for Blue Origin flight, saying it was ‘cool’ to send 90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner to space

Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos (left) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has congratulated Jeff Bezos for Blue Origin’s spaceflight on Wednesday.
  • Musk tweeted that it was “cool” to send 90-year-old “Star Trek” actor William Shatner to space.
  • Before the trip, he had tweeted “Godspeed Captain,” referencing Shatner’s portrayal of Captain Kirk.

Elon Musk has shared his congratulations with Jeff Bezos for another successful human spaceflight at Blue Origin.

Bezos’ space company completed its latest flight on Wednesday, sending four passengers to the edge of space aboard a New Shepard rocket in a trip that lasted 11 minutes. The passengers were former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, healthcare entrepreneur Glen de Vries, Blue Origin executive Audrey Powers, and “Star Trek” actor William Shatner.

Following the flight, Blue Origin tweeted a video of its landing in the West Texas desert. In the comments, Musk said, “Congrats, was cool to send @WilliamShatner to space.”

Musk had also tweeted regarding the flight before it happened, commenting “Godspeed Captain” on a NASA tweet wishing Shatner luck for the trip.

Earlier this week, Musk had tweeted at Bezos on a much less congratulatory note. Bezos had tweeted a picture of a Barron’s cover story from 1999 predicting that Amazon would fail. Bezos wrote alongside the image, “Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are.” In the comments, Musk replied with a single image of his own: a silver medal emoji. Musk had told Forbes last month that he would send Bezos a silver medal and a “giant statue” of the number two after overtaking him as the world’s richest person again.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Environmentalists sue Texas officials, claiming the repeated closing of public beaches so that Elon Musk’s SpaceX could test its rockets is unconstitutional

spacex starship sn8 serial number 8 boca chica texas launch site elon musk twitter december 7 2020 EoqSQ1rUYAAW5tV 4x3
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • 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.

In March, a SpaceX prototype exploded at the launch site, scattering the debris throughout the wildlife preserve.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk is putting up his Bay Area mansion up for sale again – it’s now 15% cheaper at $32 million

Musk   Photo by Hannibal Hanschke Pool:Getty Images
Tesla CEO Elon Musk

  • Elon Musk is putting up his Bay Area mansion up for sale for $32 million – 15% lower than its last listed price.
  • The revised price comes just days after Musk announced Tesla is moving its headquarters from California to Texas.
  • The billionaire said last year he was planning to sell “almost all physical possessions” and “own no house”.

Elon Musk just shaved 15% off the price of his Bay Area mansion, and it’s now available for just under $32 million.

This latest price slash comes just a month after the house was taken off the market after being last listed for $37.5 million.

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.

Musk relocated to Texas at the end of last year and tweeted in July that he was living in Austin in a $50,000 pre-fab house.

Zillow listing for Elon Musk's mansion, October 2021
A Zillow listing for 891 Crystal Springs Road in Hillsborough, California.

The sale of his Bay Area mansion appears to be part of Musk’s plan to sell “almost all physical possessions” and “own no house.”

Earlier this year, Musk said he’d sold six of his seven properties, and was renting out the Bay Area manse for events.

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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Universal basic income could become a reality in South Korea under a presidential candidate who once likened himself to Bernie Sanders

FILE PHOTO: South Korea's Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung speaks during an interview with Reuters in Seuwon, South Korea, May 15, 2020. REUTERS/Daewoung Kim
South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung speaks during an interview with Reuters in Seuwon.

  • 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 growing number 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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Alaska cashed out 75% of its GameStop stock last quarter – and boosted its Tesla bet by 5%

FILE - In this March 3, 2018, file photo, Eagle River, Alaska musher Tom Schonberger's lead dogs trot along Fourth Avenue during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska. The world's foremost sled dog race kicks off its 47th running this weekend on Saturday, March 2, 2019, as organizers and competitors strive to push past a punishing two years for the image of the sport. Some of the drama has been resolved for Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen, File)
A dog race in Alaska.

  • Alaska sold 75% of its remaining GameStop stake in the third quarter.
  • The US state’s revenue arm likely pocketed about $5 million from the disposals.
  • Alaska grew its Tesla stake by 5% to 134,000 shares, worth $104 million as of September 30.

The state of Alaska, one of the surprise winners from the GameStop short squeeze in January, cashed out most of its profits from its bet on the video-game retailer last quarter.

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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tesla puts Full Self-Driving beta on hold after Elon Musk expresses ‘last minute concerns’

The interior of a Tesla driving down the highway
The launch of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta is delayed.

  • 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.

Tesla’s Autopilot feature has been criticized by regulators and lawmakers who say the name makes drivers think the cars are autonomous when they aren’t. US safety regulators launched an investigation into Autopilot after a number of Teslas struck vehicles at first-responder scenes, Insider reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk says Tesla is worried about a potential labor shortage at its Berlin Gigafactory

A green street sign outside the new Tesla Gigafactory in Berlin says Tesla Strasse, or Tesla Road
A “Tesla Road” street sign outside the company’s new Gigafactory. Elon Musk has raised concerns about possible staffing issues.

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was “worried” about staffing in Berlin, Reuters reported.
  • “We’re a bit worried we won’t be able to find enough people,” Musk said on Saturday.
  • Concerns about staffing at the site have been brewing since the factory was announced in 2019.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Saturday raised concerns about staffing at the company’s new Gigafactory plant outside Berlin, Reuters reported.

“We’re a bit worried we won’t be able to find enough people,” Musk said on Saturday, according to the report. “We really need great talent to come here from all over Europe.”

Musk’s comments came during a live stream as part of a music festival held at the new Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg, where vehicles were expected to begin rolling off the line within weeks.

Concerns about staffing at the site have been brewing since the factory was announced in 2019. Some observers noted the stark differences in working culture between the US and Germany.

Earlier this year, Handelsblatt, a local newspaper, reported that the company was struggling to fill positions at the factory, saying skilled battery-cell workers were scarce in Germany.

The factory had been expected to open in July, but construction at the site in Grünheide was slowed by several issues, including paperwork requirements.

“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.

Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-last

Read the original article on Business Insider

I tried Elon Musk’s productivity hack of breaking my entire day into 5-minute slots. It was annoyingly inflexible – but I got a lot more done.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk at a press event on the grounds of the Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin.

  • As the CEO of three companies, Elon Musk has a lot on his plate.

  • He works excessive hours and breaks his time into five-minute segments to get things done.
  • I tested out his system to stay on top of my workload. It worked – but was annoyingly inflexible.

It’s not easy running a company – let alone three. Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and brain-chip company Neuralink, as well as being the founder of The Boring Company.

Musk goes to extreme lengths to stay on top of everything. He reportedly works 80-100 hour weeks and gets six hours of sleep. He sends emails while in meetings and when he’s spending time with his sons, he has said.

Musk is known for being scrupulous with his time, splitting his days into five-minute slots in order to prioritize workloads between his companies. He often foregoes breakfast, wolfs down his lunch within five minutes, and avoids phone calls.

Putting Eric Schmidt’s email technique to the test helped me tackle my inbox. I thought Musk’s time-management hack could have the same effect on my ability to organize my time, so I put it to the test for a couple of days.

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 took some planning

Blocking out time dedicated to specific tasks is a technique many productivity gurus swear by. But Musk’s is scheduling on steroids and it took a lot of preparation.

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

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Musk is known for being scrupulous with his time.

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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Housing prices are booming in the area surrounding Tesla’s planned Gigafactory in Austin, Texas

Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits the Gigafactory Berlin construction site on May 17, 2021.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits the Gigafactory Berlin construction site on May 17, 2021.

  • 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.

Musk was the highest-paid CEO in the country in 2019. The move allows the CEO to see a bit more out of his paycheck as Texas has no income tax compared to California which has some of the highest rates in the US.

Read the original article on Business Insider