Ferrari has started to accept cryptocurrency for its cars in the United States and is planning to extend the scheme to Europe. It is now the second automaker to accept the alternative currency, after Tesla tried and gave up, and apparently the storied marque hopes the move will attract younger customers with money in crypto.
Of course, crypto has proven to be highly volatile and endured a huge crash in value last year. Despite this, the currency has endured, and the biggest cryptocurrencies have been slowly rebounding in value to a more stable place. Bitcoin and Ethereum still dominate the crypto exchange and many people still maintain sizeable holdings. Tesla once accepted Bitcoin, but stopped over environmental concerns according to CEO Elon Musk—concerns that Ferrari believes to have been alleviated.
However, Ferrari isn't directly opening itself up to crypto, and all the volatility it entails. According to Automotive News, the company will use a crypto payment processing service called BitPay that will handle the transactions. Only Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC will be accepted, and the crypto will be converted into traditional currency by BitPay to protect Ferrari and its dealers from price swings. Ferrari Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Enrico Galliera said, "Prices will not change, no fees, no surcharges if you pay through cryptocurrencies."
BitPay will also be responsible for verifying the source of the crypto, which includes ensuring that it doesn’t come from criminal activity, isn’t being used to launder money, and isn’t being used to evade taxes. Most of Ferrari’s U.S. dealers have signed up to take on crypto, which looks largely risk-free for the automaker as it never directly handles the currency. As for Europe, Ferrari plans to expand the initiative to countries that legally accept crypto early next year. Ferrari hasn't yet clarified if it will offer financing with crypto.
If you happen to be sitting on a crypto fortune, there’s no better time than now to turn that into a shiny red car. But if you’re looking for a clean way to offload some bad crypto, Ferrari won’t help you either. You’ll have to launder it the old-fashioned way.
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