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Buying a car with cryptocurrency in 2022

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A quick glance at news stories online or clips of the latest celebrity endorsements help speak to cryptocurrency’s ever-growing popularity. Although virtual currency was once a topic so futuristic that it was hard for most people to envision, it’s now becoming more commonplace. As cryptocurrency — such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Bitcoin — has become more popular, there are new opportunities to purchase larger, bigger-ticket items with it. It may even be possible to purchase a car with cryptocurrency. Consider the following key statistics around different cryptocurrencies available — including top ones to invest in — and the steps involved in buying a car with cryptocurrency.

 

Key statistics on cryptocurrency

How cryptocurrency is changing the way we live

Cryptocurrency is now a part of numerous everyday financial discussions from investments and portfolios, to salaries and purchases.

Investing in crypto

Investing in cryptocurrency has become increasingly popular due to the potential of large financial gains, as well as the increase in the number of virtual currencies to invest in. Crypto could be an investment option worth considering, with .05% generally being the recommended starting allocation as consistent with cryptocurrency’s representation in the global market portfolio.

However, investing should not be taken lightly since cryptocurrency is still volatile and lacks the regulation other investments (such as stocks and bonds) may have. Additionally, there are cybersecurity concerns associated with crypto.

Which crypto to invest in

Bitcoin is often used loosely as a term when talking about investing in cryptocurrency, although it is only one type of digital currency. Bitcoin happens to be the most popular type of cryptocurrency with the highest market cap, which is why people often hear of it first despite there being thousands of digital currencies to choose from. Here are the top five based on trading volume:

  1. Bitcoin (BTC): The “original” cryptocurrency debuted in 2009 and has surged in popularity, dominating the market share among digital currencies.
  2. Ethereum (ETC): Ethereum is popular because of its ability to power NFTs and digital apps, and it can automatically initiate a contract when conditions of a purchase have been met.
  3. Tether (USDT): Tether is considered a stablecoin because its value is tied to a U.S. dollar.
  4. Binance Coin (BNB): Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency issued by the largest crypto exchange in the world, and can be used for purchases of goods and services and making payments
  5. USD Coin (USD): USD Coin is considered another stablecoin because it is also tied to the value of a U.S. dollar and is held in accounts that are regulated by traditional U.S. institutions.

Using crypto in our everyday lives

One criticism of crypto is that it is difficult to use in everyday life, such as at the grocery store or gas station. However, there does appear to be more ways to use cryptocurrencies in everyday purchases in 2022. For example, there are now companies, such as Purse.io that allow you to shop with Amazon using Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash. Crypto ATMs, like Coinsource, are popping up too, allowing you to purchase Bitcoin and send cash to other people.

As crypto continues its growth trajectory, there will likely be more ways it can be used in everyday scenarios. Two examples of this are NFTs generating ways to earn passive income and cryptocurrency lending options, such as for auto loans.

Buying a car with cryptocurrency

In 2022, purchasing a vehicle with cryptocurrency is becoming a reality. While there are not as many options to purchase a car with crypto as there are with the traditional car purchasing process, using crypto to buy a vehicle is possible. Car brands like Tesla have helped move the conversation forward by providing options for consumers to use virtual currency. But before going this route, crypto owners should do their due diligence in research.

Pros and cons of buying a car with crypto

Pros of buying a car with crypto Cons of buying a car with crypto
Crypto is becoming a more accepted form of currency, providing more options to buyers. Transactions are only safe and secure if you have the exact wallet address for both parties.
Transactions are secured through authentication processes. The number of car dealers accepting this form of payment is still limited.
Transaction fees can be low to zero, depending on the exchange used. The dealer may have a preferred virtual currency, which might not match what you own.
If the value of the crypto increases, you could potentially purchase a car worth more than what you paid in crypto. Crypto is highly volatile, which means you could overpay for the car if the value of the crypto decreases.

Steps to buying a car with crypto

You have a couple of options when purchasing a car with crypto: you can purchase from a dealer that accepts virtual currency or purchase it from a private seller that accepts it. Finding a private seller who is comfortable with the currency can be a bigger hurdle, so most people generally choose to work with a dealer. If you want to buy from a dealer, consider these important steps:

  • Step 1: Research which dealerships accept cryptocurrency.
  • Step 2: Take time to research several cryptocurrency exchange apps and learn how they work. The dealership may have its own preferred app, such as BitPay, that you can download and create an account for if you do not have it already.
  • Step 3: Find out what virtual currency the dealership you want to work with accepts and check that it matches the currency you have purchased. Bitcoin tends to be the most widely accepted at this time.
  • Step 4: Select the vehicle for purchase.
  • Step 5: Follow the instructions of exchange with the dealership.
  • Step 6: Once the transaction is complete, make sure you purchase adequate car insurance to financially protect you when driving your new vehicle.

Cars you can buy with crypto

If you find a dealership that accepts cryptocurrency for a payment, it should be possible to buy whatever vehicles the dealership has available. Fortunately, purchasing with crypto is no longer limited to the luxury market like it had been in the past.

  • Audi: You can purchase an Audi with Bitcoin through CryptoExchange.
  • BMW: BMW has some dealerships that will now accept a virtual currency as a form of payment.
  • Nissan: One Nissan dealership in Daytona, Florida, began accepting the virtual currency, DogeCoin, for down payments up to the equivalent value of $5,000 USD.
  • Tesla: Tesla has made numerous headlines with its on-again-off-again acceptance of Bitcoin as a payment method. For the time being, you cannot purchase a Tesla directly with cryptocurrency, but you may be able to use an alternative method, such as the Car for Coin auction site.
  • Toyota: Though not available nationwide, one Idaho-based Toyota dealership is now accepting several major cryptocurrencies for vehicle purchase, including Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.

Dealerships that accept crypto

  • Carriage Nissan: Carriage Nissan, with locations in both Athens and Gainesville, Georgia, accepts Bitcoin payments through the Coinbase platform.
  • MotorCars of Atlanta: MotorCars of Atlanta is a luxury car dealership — based in Atlanta, Georgia — that accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment.
  • Edmark Toyota: Edmark Toyota is a dealership based out of Nampa, Idaho, and accepts multiple forms of virtual currency, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, NEO, IOTA, Cardano and USDC.
  • Reed Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram: The Reed dealership, based in Merriam, Kansas, accepts Bitcoin payments for all of its inventory.
  • Bob Moore Auto Group: Bob Moore Auto Group operates 16 dealerships across Oklahoma and accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin for payments.

The future of crypto

Cryptocurrency is a hot topic that has brought a ton of questions along with it. There is still quite a bit unknown about virtual currency, but it continues to gain popularity. Here are a few current trends surrounding crypto in 2022 and beyond worth noting:

  • Regulations: Crypto has caught the attention of lawmakers and institutions as more stakeholders seek out ways to regulate the industry. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, Gary Gensler, recently commented on several aspects of crypto, including suggesting that “guardrails” be put in place for crypto trading and lending.
  • Bitcoin price volatility: One reason that Bitcoin — the most popular cryptocurrency — has been in the news so much in recent years is because of its extreme volatility. Bitcoin experienced a rollercoaster of highs and lows in 2021, from a high of $51,000 in late December to a low of about $33,000 in late January. It is currently sitting at around $38,000, but it remains to be seen if Bitcoin will stabilize in the near future.
  • Greater adoption: Even as Tesla wavers on whether it will be accepting crypto, many other companies are embracing the idea. Industries will likely continue to see greater acceptance as companies such as PayPal and Square have bought into cryptocurrency supply. In addition, investments will continue to shift as more online brokers allow for the purchase of cryptocurrency.

Bottom line

Much is still unknown about the logistics of cryptocurrency. While crypto is clearly gaining momentum and attention, there are still questions surrounding what the future landscape looks like. Even while new practices are being adopted, it can help to know that if you own virtual currency, purchasing a car with it is possible. You will have to consider whether the purchase is in your financial best interest — based on the volatility of virtual currency — but there are certainly more options to buying a car with crypto now than in the past. If you do go this route, it’s critical to do all your research beforehand and make sure you are working with a reputable dealership and exchange platform.

Written by
Sara Coleman
Former Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman is a former insurance contributor at Bankrate. She has a couple of years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
Edited by
Insurance Editor