The story we posted about a dealership accepting Bitcoins as payment for a Tesla Model S is reportedly only partially true. Lamborghini Newport Beach instead used BitPay to exchange the electronic currency for US dollars before completing the sale, according to "Squawk on the Street" on CNBC.

"We found out that by using a little program that Bitcoin uses, which is actually BitPay, we would have received US dollars," Pietro Frigerio, general manager of the dealership, says in the interview. "It's like if you come into the dealership and you want to buy a Lamborghini using gold bars, we would not accept it. So you'd go out, exchange it, and you'd come back to us. That was how it worked [with the Tesla and the Bitcoins]."

Frigerio says that the dealership doesn't accept Bitcoin as a currency and only accepts US dollars as payment for its vehicles. That said, we wouldn't be surprised if using BitPay to turn Bitcoins into US dollars for the used Model S purchase was actually easier than going through a more traditional financial establishment. Head over to CNBC to check out the "Squawk on the Street" interview with more details.


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  • 49 Comments
      john96xlt
      • 1 Year Ago
      "d" called it, and was negged for it. His exact words: "To be clear then car was not purchased with Bitcoin. The car was purchased with dollars after the Bitcoin were exchanged."
      threefortyduster
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know I'm being that guy who clicks then comments...but who in the hell cares how the guy bought his car? He could have paid in pennies or bullion, who cares?
      Marni Melrose
      • 3 Months Ago

      Ok this is ridiculous saying that they didn't accept bitcoin is like saying that they don't accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express either, because the money actually ends up in their bank accounts in US dollars. 

      BitPay is a bitcoin processor just like you usa a credit card processor. 

      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      The old style 1990's hype that the 'tech' industry pushed on us will not work this time.
        Bobby Robinson
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        You mean the "tech" industry that is still in existence today, that is making new millionaires right now, as I type this? Um, you don't get out much, do ya?
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Side thought: You know how so many people are afraid of a New World Order... World Government.... Universal Currency... all being imposed on us by governments..? Yet Bitcoin was created because of diminishing confidence in government run currency.. and now strives to be a world currency. Money without national boundaries or allegiance. They've created the very monster they feared. FrankenCoin. -------------------------- But virtual currency cannot succeed as a real, sustainable currency. You need some form of fixed value (or relatively fixed). Every time our FED decides to add more to the suppy (print money) we inflate. This must be controlled carefully and not done too often or too much... or risk runaway inflation. Who creates a bitcoin? What happens when the market gets flooded with more? Extreme fluctuations in the value of a currency... makes that currency no better than a bartering system.... and thus worthless.
        Bassracerx
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        the market can not be "flooded" with more. one note is created every 10 mins, there will only ever be 21 million notes and the last note will be produced in the year 2140. there never will be inflation with bitcoins that is how they work. you should really do a bit of homework before you post doom and gloom. bitcoins are craated and the first person to guess the note's serial number claims it. The notes are handed out in a lottery based system and are then traded. and people all over the world compete to claim the notes as they are created. the code gets more complicated as time passes and also as time passes more people will be competeing to claim notes. the competition and difficulty factor combined with a fixed amount of notes combats inflation. Bitcoins are actually similer to actual minerals in the fact that they are a limited resource and are mined and then traded for regular currency. The thing about minerals is you never are sure HOW limited they are any day a huge gold or daimond mine could be found or somone could strike oil and that could devalue the minerals that everyone currently has. personally, i am very weary of useing bitcoins system instead of cash due to it being a commodity it is subject to its own market to be traded and its value could fluctuate day by day i would rather take my chances with stocks bonds or even minerals. Currently it has it's advantages or being anonymous and global but im not one that it is convenient for.
          Jessie Janson
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bassracerx
          @Joe. Its the only one gaining value in any meaningfull way. (litecoin is and has been on a decline, it also has no fundamental value, regardless of what the litecoiners say. it copies bitcoin in every way, and tweaks a few things in provenly useless ways) being 'easier' to mine is a bad thing. it means it has less support and is easy to 51% attack its network. And no, litecoin has been around for awhile now, it is the oldest 'alt coin/copycat' and nobody will be leaving bitcoin for it. to say the least, the other alt coins are even further behind. while some may have some benifits. they are used by such small groups that they wont be able to beat bitcoin due to network effects. ie, if everyone is using bitcoin, the 'problem' they solve is such a non issue at that point, there is not point switching. Of the few popular alt coins/systems. most(all that i know of) are flawed in lol-worthy ways contrary to what many of their followers believe. The sad truth is, people can sometimes push themselves into believing something and become unwilling to listen, most of the time they seem to think they missed the 'boat' when it comes to bitcoin, spurring them to find something new.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bassracerx
          Jessie Janson.... you are making my point. When Bitcoin does reach it limit for supply, at 21 million BTC... that will spur people to simply adopt another virtual currency that is not done growing. People will want to get rich by investing in commodities that grow... Which is one of the reasons why the U.S. abandoned gold-backing in the first place. Just as the US Dollar USED TO BE LIMITED, Bitcoin will either change their protocols to allow further growth... or will be overtaken by another currency at that time.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bassracerx
          The point is that Bitcoin is not even the only virtual coin out there anymore. Litecoin is easier to mine. There might be a limit on Bitcoin... but the value of a currency that can never increase in supply? Never been tested in the real world... and we will likely just switch again to another virtual currency, that is not done growing.
        Bobby Robinson
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        The number of Bitcoins in existence will never exceed 21 million. You cant's simply make more Bitcoins. It's not set up to work that way. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Controlled_supply
          Val
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bobby Robinson
          For that to happen, all the participants would have to agree ti the change. Which is a lot of people, most of them will probably be holding quite a lot of bitcoins. So printing more will devalue the ones they own. In contrast, all that is needed for the FED to decide to print more money is 12 people on a table, none of whom have much skin in the game. Or a few hundred people in congress voting on the ceiling, raising said ceiling allows them to spend more money without taxing the people who elected them, so they get to spend more and keep their office in power. No analogy to the way bitcoins are created. When the 21 million are created, and if the currency starts being more widely used, the value will stabilize and start going up slowly, in a deflationary manner. this is what happened to gold in many cases. Problem is, governments and empires always find a way to screw it up, either by reducing the amount of gold in the coins, or by issuing certificates of deposit of higher value than the actual deposits. There is no central government or bank to do something like that to bitcoin. And if the value gets too high and you can no longer buy a can of coke with the smallest unit, then another crypto currency may be created with much lower nominal value, like how silver was to gold. Only this time, the relative price will not be determined by law, but by the market.
          Bobby Robinson
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bobby Robinson
          "can't"
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bobby Robinson
          Now I am reading about how DDOS attacks are being used to steal bitcoins and manipulate the market price. Some serious crimes going on here. http://www.informationweek.com/attacks/dutch-banking-malware-gang-busted-bitcoins-role/d/d-id/1112091?itc=edit_in_body_cross
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bobby Robinson
          Bobby.... still reading about Bitcoin protocol... freaking brilliant. I know a bit about economics... so I am still skeptical. But I know a whole lot more about cryptography and find this to be a fascinating approach. I may change my position here in a few hours or days. I will let you know.
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Germany, among others recognize Bitcoin as a currency & the Swiss are looking into it : http://www.coindesk.com/swiss-lawmakers-bitcoin-foreign-currency/
        bluepongo1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bluepongo1
        Ebay has hinted at accepting Bitcoin, ( The future isn't for bed-wetters who live in the past.) get while the gettin' is good : http://www.ciondesk.com/ebay-loophole-virtual-currency-transactions/
          Sumer54
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          eBay in Latin America is already accepting BTC
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          * www.coindesk.com * Sorry about the inversion above ^ ( no edit )
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bluepongo1
        http://www.coindesk.com/germany-official-recognises-bitcoin-as-private-money/ I would NOT say Germany is "recognizing Bitcoin as currency". --"A few weeks ago, Germany’s financial regulator BaFin amended the German Banking Code to state that bitcoins are “units of value” and, therefore, can be classed as financial instruments. They've recognized it as something alright... but they are NOT giving Bitcoin equal status of other "foreign currency".
      fordskydog
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah. Um, it's like using gold bars and exchanging for dollars, EXCEPT IT IS TOTALLY NOT THIS! Bitcoin is in and of itself a currency. It is more like if you went to a dealership with a wad full of Canadian dollars and wanted to use them. A domestic dealer would likely ask you to exchange them. But there are businesses in this world who realize currency is currency, accept different types of currency, and exchange them on their own at a bank. Idiot Lamborghini dealer. Seems fitting.
        Badfish941
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fordskydog
        Gold and Bitcoin both have value and need to be exchanged for US dollars, so it's essentially the same thing except it would be slightly to sell gold... seems like reasonable argument to me
        infra
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fordskydog
        Sorry, bitcoin is more like a commodity than a currency. It is mined by investment of energy and effort, supply is limited, and the market demand for it dictates the value. There is absolutely no reason for the increase in price of Bitcoin, other than a simple demand by the market for them. People do not desire specific currencies for reasons of value, but rather, reasons of stability or volatility. Bitcoin does not have these features. The market is a bubble, and will soon pop when people realize it truly has only the value of the energy spent to create (mine) it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Pablo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't agree with this viewpoint. The seller used the services of BitPay, so the transaction when like this: 1.- The seller tells the buyer the bitcoin account (or address) where to transfer and the amount required (this with the help of BitPay). (this could be even with a checkout button on a web page, probably not the case here). 2.- The buyer transfer the required bitcoins to the the address. 3.- BitPay waits for the bitcoin transaction to clear. 4- BitPay transfer the USD equivalent to the seller's bank account. (And does the conversion bitcoin/usd in a trading exchange or something like that, this is their business). 5- The seller waits for the bank transfer to clear. 6- The buyer gets the car. So the transaction was done in a new form of payment. Just like years ago credit card payments started to exists and latter PayPal payments. And this helps to boost businesses. The buyer never handled any USD or made any bank wire transfer. And the seller had minimal risks because he got the money before releasing the car. It is not the business of the seller to speculate with bitcoins, it is their business to sell cars, and this month they added 100.000 USD to their sale performance with help of bitcoins. The buyer doesn't necessarily care or know if the seller will convert to USD, EUR, CNY or keep bitcoins for a while. Actually, because the bitcoin network is global, anyone in the world can buy a car from this seller with bitcoins and get it exported to their country.
      ken
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bitcoin is as vulnerable as the internet. Any governments could easily shut off its trade by insulating financial institutions and the trade platforms that deal with it. Especially in the US, the government can use agents to buy illegal drugs through any bitcoin sites and then use the RICO act to arrest the owner of the hub to shutdown the site and seize all related assets.
        Jessie Janson
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ken
        While the govt could ban its use in the USA, they cant do that in other countries. however, there have been guidelines and public meetings regarding bitcoin. the powers that have anything to do with bitcoin have all said in one form or another, "bitcoin may be the future of trade and we dont want to stifle its growth even if it can be used for illegal purposes, the same as the USD" this comes from FINCEN, FBI, forget the name of the one that deals with human trafficking.. but them too. there was even a private meeting *years ago* where one of the head devs was flown to the CIA to teach them about bitcoin. IF the US gov't had it in for bitcoin, we would know about it by now. they are far more cooperative then anyone could have expected or hoped for. regarding the last bit of your comment, not sure exactly what you mean, but bitcoin is 100% decentralized, there is nothing to shutdown. bitcoin could exist without exchanges. and honestly, it sometimes easier to trade in person(no signup and personal data required like paypal or similar companies) @Joe MtGox has had allot of issues, they /were/ the biggest and single largest exchange but through their screwups they lost most of their users. With each and every failure, something better pops up. people learn from it. MtGox(magic the gathering online exchange) was originally designed not for bitcoin... but for other things, it was run by an novice. the site and popularity of bitcoin outgrew them and they didnt keep up. More professional groups have shown up and have spotless records. That is one dieing exchange, among several that arose due to its lack of professionalism.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jessie Janson
          --"While the govt could ban its use in the USA, they cant do that in other countries. " As the US Dollar goes... so do MANY MANY other "dollar based" currencies. If Bitcoin loses respect and credibility in America... the US Govt doesn't have to force other countries. They will lose credibility in most places where the dollar is the most valuable currency available. Really, there is only the Dollar, Yen, Yuan, Euro, Pound, and swiss Franc. All others tend to follow these. --"More professional groups have shown up and have spotless records." And some new exchanges have actually turned out to be run by the theives... FBTC Exchange which were used by that Dutch gang to steal millions. Currency NEEDS "Confidence"... and something used so much by the criminal world... so much of a higher percentage than other currencies... is bound to bust.
        GoodCheer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ken
        "Bitcoin is as vulnerable as the internet." Or cash. The value of that piece of paper is only what we collectively agree it is. Just like gold.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ken
        I am more worried about hackers shutting down bitcoin trading and stealing and extorting bitcoin as they have done several times.
      jesscott
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bitcoins are the best scam going. In the end there will be a few with most of them, a few with a few of them, and most with none of them. Just like any other currency anywhere in the world. The joke is that the hyper tech nerds will have most of the currency.
        Jessie Janson
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jesscott
        Even if that occured, once those 'few people with most of them' spent them, they would no longer have them. they would have no way of getting more other then through normal business practices. So to say that it will end with most coins belonging to a few people is silly. most early adopters have cashed out a percentage of their holdings as bitcoins grow. that allows them to reap the benefits of having bought bitcoins and hedging against the possibility that all govt's will ban it/bitcoin fails etc(most every govt so far has declared it legal, either as a commodity or currency) Nothing stops anyone from buying at the current price and hoping they rise in value in the future, the same as those 'earlier' early adopters did. Their gamble paid off. Yours could too, instead most people say "oh ive missed the boat, those dam lucky early adopters" You could still be one. who cares if your 1K USD bitcoin 'only' ends up being worth 10,000 USD in a few years. its still far better then having your 1K USD end up becoming 900$ due to excessive printing of US dollars.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jessie Janson
          Well, bitcoin mining is only done by those with rigs to crunch numbers. So bitcoins start out in the hands of the tech savvy... whether they decide to spend it.. or speculate on higher value in the future by holding on to them... has been the big question.
      Bobby Robinson
      • 1 Year Ago
      Really? Did you have to really comeback and clarify this. I thought it was a matter of commonsense that Bitcoins are turned back in to the currency of choice when someone buys something using them. What did people think, someone walked in the dealership, saw a car they wanted, and transferred their Bitcoins to the dealerships bank account of Bitcoins? LOL! Truthfully though, was Bitcoins EVER made to go directly against the dollar or any other conventional currency around the world? The short answer is no...
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