Whether you think cryptocurrency is just a fad or the future of finance, it’s a fascinating technology. You probably made your last car purchase with boring old dollars, but maybe the next one is with a digital currency.
If you’re wondering if you can buy a car with cryptocurrency, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s see how it works and if it’s a good idea. As with all money matters, it is best to consult your financial advisor before making any investments.
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital asset. Created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency. It is still the largest by market cap and has inspired thousands of ‘altcoins’. Popular alternatives include Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Solana, and more. The purpose of some cryptocurrencies is to be a store of value like ‘digital gold’. Others want to be a medium of exchange, such as cash for buying and selling goods and services.
Another type of cryptocurrency are stablecoins. Stablecoins such as USD Coin and Tether are pegged to government-issued currencies such as the US dollar and the euro. For example, one USDC is worth $1. Stablecoins serve as digital placeholders for real global currencies.
America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is a website called Coinbase. You can buy, sell and manage hundreds of different cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. Traders can use it as a payment processor for crypto, similar to PayPal.
Buying a car with cryptocurrency
There are a few ways you can buy a car using cryptocurrency. Some online car marketplaces such as Car for Coin and BitCars allow you to exchange crypto – mainly Bitcoin – for a vehicle.
There is an easy way to use cryptocurrency as a means of payment wherever debit cards are accepted. Crypto debit cards like the BitPay Mastercard and Coinbase Visa card work just like regular debit cards, but they take money from your crypto wallet instead of a bank account.
Some of BitPay’s trusted partners include RM Sotheby’s, Vegas Auto Gallery, and Mecum Auctions, but you can use a BitPay card anywhere Mastercard is accepted. You can use a crypto debit card for a down payment, monthly payments and insurance payments, but you may have a hard time finding a dealer that will let you buy a car with a debit card.
BitPay supports many major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, stablecoins such as USD Coin and Binance USD, and even some memecoins such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.
Some other options in crypto debit cards include the CryptoWallet Mastercard and Crypto.com Visa card.
A list of cars you can buy with crypto
Some car dealers across the country accept cryptocurrency as payment, but there are no manufacturers that accept crypto across their dealer network.
Here are a few dealers that accept crypto through payment processors like BitPay and Coinbase:
- Jeff Wyler Automotive Family in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
- Carriage Auto Group in Georgia and Alabama
- Bob Moore Auto Group in Oklahoma
- Edmark Toyota in Nampa, Idaho
- Lamborghini Newport Beach in Irvine, California.
- Drove Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram in Merriam, Kansas
- Porsche Towson in Towson, Maryland
- Rockville BMW in Rockville, Maryland
- Atlanta Motor Cars in Atlanta, Georgia
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has gone back and forth with accepting Bitcoin as payment in Tesla stores, but at the time of writing, that system is out of place. However, if you want to buy a Tesla or any other cryptocurrency electric car, you may find some for sale on the crypto exchanges or from the above-mentioned car dealers.
Should I Buy a Car With Crypto?
Anyone who has spent time with digital currencies knows that there are many risks associated with anything related to crypto. Cryptocurrency values are extremely volatile.
Bitcoin, for example, hit an all-time high of nearly $68,000 in November 2021. You could have bought a new Porsche 718 Cayman with one Bitcoin. However, at the time of writing, Bitcoin’s value is around $19,000. That same Bitcoin that could have bought a Porsche less than a year ago is now getting you a basic Subaru Impreza.
Since car values don’t fluctuate as much as cryptocurrency values, stablecoins would be a good means of paying for a car with digital currency. For example, putting USDC in a BitPay wallet and using it to make car payments is a safer way to pay for your car without worrying about the value of your crypto tank.
If you really believe in cryptocurrency, buying a car directly with crypto like Bitcoin can be a great way to use this innovative technology. It can also be fun to tell your friends that you bought your car with Bitcoin.