Lamborghini dealership sells Tesla's Model S using bitcoin

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 07, 2013 12:45 AM EST

A California Lamborghini dealership accepted payment for a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric car in bitcoins. The car, retailing at USD103,000 or 91.4 bitcoins, was sold by Lamborghini Newport Beach handled by payment processor BitPay, said the California dealership's marketing director Cedric Davy. Davy also said the sale of the Model S car was cleared yesterday and the car will be delivered to Florida. Davy, who spoke over the telephone to Bloomberg, declined to name the buyer.

"We're a dealership -- we're not in the business of doing any speculation. For us, it was just important that the money could be transferred into U.S. dollars," Davy clarified.

Bloomberg noted that despite the growing acceptance of the Bitcoin in some small business owners via smartphone applications, it has still a long way to go to gain endorsement from banks and governments. This week, The People's Bank of China had banned banks in the mainland from transacting with Bitcoin. Owner of that nation's largest Internet search engine, Baidu Inc, seemed to have taken PBOC's recommendation and halted acceptance of Bitcoin payments yesterday for its website-acceleration service.

"Some people want to get out before they get burnt, I feel, so this is probably why we're going to see some sales in the very near future (of more cars using Bitcoins)," Davy said.

Bitcoin technically exists as software and is not regulated by any banking authority or country. The value of the Bitcoin had climbed more than 80-fold this year, but was trading down 16% at USD865 at 5:36PM New York Time on Bitstamp yesterday. Bitstamp is one of the active virtual currency trading exchanges wherein currencies like the Bitcoin are traded for dollars and other official currencies.

On December 4 in an interview with Bloomberg TV, former US Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan said, "(Bitcoin) has to have intrinsic value. You have to really stretch your imagination to infer what the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is. I haven't been able to do it. Maybe somebody else can."

Davy confirmed that his dealership was not the first one who had dealt sales in bitcoins. He said he heard a couple of other dealers who were interested in transacting sales of cars via Bitcoin after he posted the Tesla model sale on the company's blog.

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