Apr 27, 2021

Bitcoin among factors for Tesla’s record quarterly profits

autonomousvehicles
electricvehicles
Automotive
Bitcoin
William Smith
2 min
Tesla's announcement saw revenues and profits up, with its diversification into bitcoin investing showing its status as more of a tech than car company
Tesla's announcement saw revenues and profits up, with its diversification into bitcoin investing showing its status as more of a tech than car company...

US electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has announced its results for the first quarter of 2021.

Highlights of the announcement included increased quarterly profits of $438mn, compared to $16mn last year., as well as revenues of $10.4bn - up from $6bn last year.

Tesla’s bitcoin bet

The revenue increase was not only due to increased sales, but also stemmed from its highly publicised investment in Bitcoin, with the company having recently introduced measures to allow payments in the cryptocurrency.

In a call to investors, Zachary Kirkhorn, Chief Financial Officer, said: “Tesla did invest $1.5 billion into bitcoin in Q1, and then we subsequently sold a 10% stake in that. We also allow customers to make vehicle deposits and final vehicle purchases using bitcoin.”

Car deliveries, meanwhile, reached 184,800, with 180,338 produced. “We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity,” the company said. “The new Model S and Model X have also been exceptionally well received, with the new equipment installed and tested in Q1 and we are in the early stages of ramping production.”

The positive news comes after recent negative headlines for Tesla, after a fatal crash in Texas that resulted in the deaths of two men, with the company’s Autopilot feature initially blamed, something which the company denies was enabled.

Automotive or tech firm?

The company is currently valued at around $700bn, easily making it the world’s most valuable car company. Its meteoric rise has led many to ask whether it is even truly an automotive manufacturer, or is rather a tech company. Indeed, CEO Elon Musk said in the earnings call: “I think long term, people will think of Tesla as much as an AI robotics company as we are a car company or an energy company. I think we are developing one of the strongest hardware and software AI teams in the world. Certainly, we appear to be able to use things with full self driving that others cannot.”

(Image: Tesla)

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May 12, 2021

The Online Safety Bill: What is it and what does it mean?

UK
Social Media
onlinesafetybill
Internet
2 min
The government's Online Safety Bill was announced yesterday in the Queen's Speech, but what exactly is it?

New internet laws will be published today in the UK in the draft Online Safety Bill to protect children online and tackle some of the worst abuse on social media, including racist hate crimes.

The draft legislation, which was previously known as the Online Harms Bill, has been two years in the making. Some new additions to the bill include provisions to tackle online scams, such as romance fraud and fake investment opportunities.

 

What does it include?

The draft Bill includes changes to put an end to harmful practices and brings in a new era of accountability and protections for democratic debate, including:

  • New additions to strengthen people’s rights to express themselves freely online, while protecting journalism and democratic political debate in the UK.

  • Further provisions to tackle prolific online scams such as romance fraud, which have seen people manipulated into sending money to fake identities on dating apps.

  • Social media sites, websites, apps and other services hosting user-generated content or allowing people to talk to others online must remove and limit the spread of illegal and harmful content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material and suicide content.

  • Ofcom will be given the power to fine companies failing in a new duty of care up to £18 million or ten per cent of annual global turnover, whichever is higher, and have the power to block access to sites.

  • A new criminal offence for senior managers has been included as a deferred power. This could be introduced at a later date if tech firms don’t step up their efforts to improve safety.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Today the UK shows global leadership with our groundbreaking laws to usher in a new age of accountability for tech and bring fairness and accountability to the online world.

“We will protect children on the internet, crack down on racist abuse on social media, and through new measures to safeguard our liberties, create a truly democratic digital age.

The draft Bill will be scrutinised by a joint committee of MPs before a final version is formally introduced to Parliament.

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