MicroStrategy (MSTR) reported a non-cash digital asset impairment charge of $146.6 million in the fourth quarter, up from $65.2 million in the prior quarter, according to its latest earnings statement.
The impairment reflects the decline in the price of bitcoin versus the price at which the bitcoin was acquired. Under standard accounting rules, the value of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies must be recorded at their cost and then only adjusted if their value is impaired, or goes down. But if the price rises, that does not get reflected until an asset is sold.The company’s 124,391 bitcoins held at the end of Dec. 31, 2021, were acquired for $3.752 billion, reflecting an average cost per bitcoin of approximately $30,159, the company reported.MicroStrategy reported on Tuesday morning that it bought approximately 660 additional bitcoins for around $25 million between Dec. 30, 2021, and Jan. 31, 2022. This gives the company a total of 125,051 bitcoins, valued at about $4.8 billion at the current bitcoin price of $38,700.The SEC recently objected to MicroStrategy’s accounting adjustment for its bitcoin holdings. The company later told the commission that it would “revise its disclosures of non-GAAP measures in future filings to remove the adjustment for impairment losses and gains on sale related to bitcoin, as requested by the Commission.”Shares of MicroStrategy were down about 0.4% in after-hours trading. Shares have fallen around 34% over the last month.