Cryptocurrency Quick Facts
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 will be with a digital currency.
If you’re wondering if you can buy a car with cryptocurrency, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at how it works and whether it’s a good idea. As with all money matters, it’s best to consult your financial advisor before making any investments.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital asset and an alternative payment form created using encryption algorithms. Created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency. It is still the biggest by market cap and has inspired thousands of “altcoins.” Popular alternatives are Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Solana, and more.
The purpose of some cryptocurrencies is to be a store of value like “digital gold.” Others intend to be a medium of exchange, like cash, for buying and selling goods and services.
Another type of cryptocurrency is stablecoins. Stablecoins like USD Coin and Tether are tied to government-issued currencies like the U.S. dollar and the euro. For example, one USDC is worth $1. Stablecoins serve as digital placeholders for real-world global currencies.
America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is a website called Coinbase. You can buy, sell, and manage hundreds of different cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. Merchants can use it as a payment processor for crypto, similar to PayPal.
There are a few ways you can buy a car with cryptocurrency. Some online car marketplaces such as Car for Coin and BitCars allow you to exchange crypto — primarily Bitcoin — for a vehicle.
There is an easy way to use cryptocurrency as payment anywhere that accepts debit cards. Crypto debit cards like the BitPay Mastercard and Coinbase Visa card work just like regular debit cards, but they draw funds from your crypto wallet rather than 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 could use a crypto debit card for a down payment, monthly payments, and insurance payments, but you might have difficulty finding a dealer that lets you buy a car outright with a crypto debit card.
BitPay supports many major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, stablecoins like USD Coin and Binance USD, and even some memecoins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.
A couple of other options in crypto debit cards include the CryptoWallet Mastercard and Crypto.com Visa card.
Some car dealerships across the country accept cryptocurrency as payment, but no manufacturers accept crypto across their whole dealer network.
- Jeff Wyler Automotive Family with at least 23 dealerships in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana
- Carriage Auto Group with dealerships in Georgia and Alabama
- Bob Moore Auto Group in Oklahoma
- Edmark Toyota in Nampa, Idaho
- Lamborghini Newport Beach in Irvine, California.
- Reed Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram in Merriam, Kansas
- Porsche Towson in Towson, Maryland
- BMW of Rockville in Rockville, Maryland
- Motor Cars of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has gone back and forth on accepting cryptocurrency as payment at Tesla stores, but as of this writing, the dealerships accept Dogecoin. However, if you’d like to buy a Tesla or another electric car with cryptocurrency, you might find some for sale on the crypto exchanges or at car dealerships mentioned above.
Should I Buy a Car With Crypto?
For example, Bitcoin 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, as of this writing, Bitcoin’s value is around $17,000. That same Bitcoin that could’ve bought a Porsche a year ago will now get you a Nissan Versa.
Since car values don’t fluctuate nearly as much as cryptocurrency values, stablecoins would be a good vehicle for paying for a car with digital currency. For example, putting USDC in a BitPay wallet and using that to make car payments is a safer way to pay for your car without worrying about the value of your crypto tanking.
If you’re a true believer in cryptocurrency, buying a car directly with crypto like Bitcoin could be a great way to put this innovative technology to use. Also, telling your friends you bought your car with Bitcoin might be fun.