Crypto cars: this Johannesburg Ferrari specialist dealership will take Bitcoin instead of old-fashioned money
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JOHANNESBURG - Ferris Cars, based in Fourways, claims to be the first car dealership in South Africa that has sold a car in exchange for Bitcoin instead of cash. And what’s more, it wasn’t just any car, but an immaculately-presented pre-owned Ferrari California.
The occasion was celebrated at a cocktail function attended by customers and media at Ferris Cars’ recently-revised showroom in the Broadacres Shopping Centre. The highlight of the evening was in fact the actual purchase of the Ferrari California by one of the guests, live on screen, demonstrating an actual Bitcoin transaction to the audience.
WHY ACCEPT BITCOIN?
“The idea of selling Ferraris using Bitcoin as a currency was in fact mooted a few months ago,” says Ferris Cars co-owner and director, Tommy Roes. “We announced on March 5, 2021, through our newsletter, that we would now be accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment.”
“Not only were we the first South African dealership to take this step, but to put things into a global context, less than three weeks after our announcement, Elon Musk announced on Twitter that Teslas were now for sale using Bitcoin. So we beat Tesla to the draw by nearly three weeks,” he exclaims.
GROWING INTEREST IN BITCOIN TRANSACTIONS
Bitcoin holders buying supercars is nothing new, with the proceeds of their early investment into cryptocurrency as a means to flaunt their new and excessive wealth. Ferris Cars, however, was the first dealership in South Africa to formally announce the direct acceptance of the decentralised currency as a method of payment.
The fact that the idea has great potential was reinforced within days of that first Ferrari being driven out of the Ferris Cars showroom. Since then, Ferris has facilitated a second Bitcoin transaction for a customer buying a Ford Mustang, and days after this transaction, they were in the process of facilitating yet another Bitcoin payment deal on a Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
Interestingly, neither of these subsequent two cars were available at Ferris Cars, the Mustang was sold by a private individual in KZN, and the G-Wagon was for sale at a different dealership in Gauteng, Ferris Cars however gladly facilitated these purchase transactions for a nominal fee.
THE FUTURE OF CRYPTO CAR SALES
“At Ferris Cars, we recognise the incredible impact this digital phenomenon is having on the world and the significant potential it has to favourably impact our business,” says Roes.
To enable the ground-breaking move to support Bitcoin transactions at dealer level, Ferris Cars leveraged the expertise of AltCoinTrader. Established by Richard de Sousa in 2015, it has become a popular cryptocurrency trading platform in South Africa and has amassed over 500 000 subscribers, routinely used around 100 000 times each month.
“The beauty of using Bitcoin, or one of the other cryptocurrencies currently in play, is that it is a peer-to-peer transaction. No approval is required from any third party, or authority,” enthuses Roes.
Whilst cryptocurrency exchanges do charge so-called “maker-and-taker” fees, Roes explains that crypto users are exempt from the tediousness of traditional banking and the fees associated with more traditional currency transactions.
He explains that since there is no governmental involvement, and no intermediary institutions to deal with, the costs of doing crypto transactions is kept very low. The transactions in a currency such as Bitcoin are extremely rapid, which means that typical authorisation delays are avoided.
Importantly, personal information is not required when completing a Bitcoin transaction. “We see our Bitcoin initiative as just the first of many to bring Ferris Cars in line with doing business in an increasingly connected, digital and media-savvy environment,” says Roes.
“In addition to the peace of mind we bring to our customers, Ferris Cars also offers a full range of Ferrari merchandise and apparel through the recently commissioned Grand Prix Store at the Ferris Cars showroom, as well as Ferrari art and collectables. And incidentally, these can also now be paid for using Bitcoin,” Roes concludes.
Incidentally, apart from Bitcoin, Ferris Cars can also facilitate transactions in two other cryptocurrencies, these being USDT and xZAR. Ferris Cars can also help you facilitate the purchase of any car from other dealerships or private sellers, using these currencies, if all parties are interested in doing a deal.
Oh and if you’re interested, 1 Bitcoin (BTC) is currently worth R524 673,26 at the time this went to print, but as you know it fluctuates regularly.