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Can You Buy A New Car With Bitcoin?

By John Gower, December 20, 2017

If you've seen any kind of news feed recently, you've likely read that Bitcoin, a digital currency, has taken off in value. The lucky folks who invested early in the cryptocurrency are facing a good problem to have: How to spend their earnings. 

Rather than trading their Bitcoins for cash, some folks might want to use the currency as, well, a currency — something to buy goods with. Maybe even cars.

Places such as The White Company are making this possible. The company is currently offering luxury cars in exchange for Bitcoin — a Lamborghini Huracan LP-610-4 will run you 19.6 Bitcoins, for example. But before you run off to get that Lambo, buyer beware: Bitcoin.com's story includes a disclaimer that it doesn't endorse the service, and that it's not responsible for any losses incurred. 

Not in the market for a high-end performance car? If you live near East Greenbush, New York, you may still have the opportunity to purchase a car using the cryptocurrency. As of this publishing, Michael's Auto Plaza was the only auto dealer we could find doing so.

Lastly, when it comes to personal one-on-one deals, like from Craigslist or other classified sites, it is possible to make a deal using Bitcoin. This is assuming the seller already has a Bitcoin wallet and is willing to accept the transaction.   

How Did Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Come About? 

The idea of cryptocurrencies has been around for decades. One forerunner occurred in the late 1980s in the Netherlands. Back then, petrol stations in remote areas were increasingly falling prey to bandits who were robbing them for their cash. The petrol companies didn't want to spend lots of money posting security at these stations overnight, so they started issuing petrol cards with cash balances. This gave the crooks nothing to rob. 

The biggest problem with digital cash in the late 1980s (and all the way into the 2000s) was that the systems supporting the digital money still needed a human gatekeeper — an individual who sat in some office and manually kept track of digital withdrawals, deposits and transactions.

Since humans were in control of this system, of course, mistakes were made and security wasn't great. The entire banking system was developed as a trusted mediator between two people or businesses who wanted to conduct transactions — but with the advent of digital money, that trust became increasingly more difficult to maintain.

There had to be a solution.

Finally, in 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto created the groundbreaking technology called blockchain. This technology uses very complex mathematical algorithms and is ideal for keeping digital currencies, such as Bitcoin secure. Other cryptocurrencies use the technology, as well.

As of Dec. 20, 1 Bitcoin (BTC) was worth over $16,300. 

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