The institutional software solutions provider reported a net loss of $146.6 million incurred in impairment charges on its Bitcoin holdings. The high impairment losses added to the company’s operating expenses, which saw a 125% increase at $248 million compared to the same quarter last year.
An impairment loss is a recognized reduction in the acquisition cost of an asset that is triggered by a decline in its fair value. When the fair value of an asset declines below its purchase amount, the difference is written off.
The firm has lost $901 million in impairment charges on its BTC holdings over the last six quarters.
MicroStrategy decided to add BTC impairment charges after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission rejected its existing “non-GAAP” Bitcoin accounting methods. The SEC asked the business intelligence firm to add share-based compensation expense and impairment losses and gains on sale.
The impairment losses of $146.6 million were the third-highest for the company where it accounted for 25% of its BTC purchase in the same quarter. The highest impairment loss came in the second quarter of 2021 where it lost about 80% of the total BTC value purchased in that quarter. MicroStrategy recorded a net loss of $90 million or $8.43 per share on a diluted basis in Q4.
MicroStrategy currently holds a total of 125,051 BTC acquired for about $3.78 billion at an average price of $30,200 per Bitcoin.
MicroStrategy started buying Bitcoin in August 2020 to use it as a treasury hedge instead of the U.S. dollar. The firm has been instrumental in bringing Bitcoin to institutional firms and public companies including the likes of Tesla and SpaceX.