You’ve probably heard about bitcoin in the news but might still be wondering what it is and why people are talking about it.
What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency – basically, a digital form of money that can be used to buy and sell goods through the internet. Cryptocurrencies are not backed by any physical bills or coins, but individuals can purchase units of currency through online exchanges. Unlike credit cards or checks, transactions using cryptocurrencies do not need to go through any central banks. Encryption techniques verify the transfer of funds directly between buyers and sellers.
Created in 2009, bitcoin is the most well-known form of cryptocurrency. It can now be used to book hotel rooms through Expedia, order goods on overstock.com, and even purchase cars (we’ll get back to that). The value of a bitcoin can fluctuate tremendously – from $1,000 to $19,000 in 2017 alone.
Some reasons why bitcoin is popular are that it can be used to purchase merchandise anonymously, doesn’t involve charges like credit card fees, is not tied to any country, and is not subject to regulation (although that may change). Another reason bitcoin is in the news is that some people invest in them with the buy-low-sell-high mindset. One individual even bought a Lamborghini with what started as a $115 investment in bitcoins.
Impact on the auto industry
Some experts speculate that cryptocurrencies and the technology behind them will eventually find their place in auto manufacturing, especially where international transactions are concerned. Others believe seamless online payments will help spur the growth of car-sharing. Bitcoin is gaining ground overseas as well. One of Japan’s largest used-car automotive groups has partnered with the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange to enable bitcoin payments at its dealerships across Japan.
While bitcoin hasn’t significantly impacted the U.S. auto industry just yet, it is making small inroads. According to spendbitcoins.com, there are currently 10 dealerships in the United States that accept bitcoin. Additionally, there are nine auto parts and supplies businesses in the U.S. and Canada that accept bitcoin.
Although MetroGistics is a technological innovator in the field of automotive logistics, we don’t accept bitcoin at this time. In our research, we didn’t uncover any other vehicle-transportation companies that do, either. We will continue to stay on the cutting edge of technology and may expand our payment methods in the future if demand from customers and truck drivers warrants it.
We do believe, however, that the use of bitcoin could impact one aspect of our business. It is reasonable to assume that bitcoin users are both technologically savvy and are accustomed to making large online purchases.
Let’s say an investor in Boston buys a car from a Ford dealership in Dallas that accepts bitcoin. He will still need to transport that vehicle to his home, and unless he wants to fly out and drive it back, he will need to utilize a transportation company like MetroGistics. One day, this type of transaction could become quite common.
If anyone else out there is planning to buy a Lamborghini with bitcoin and needs to have it transported, feel free to contact us.