Italian luxury sports car brand Ferrari is to begin accepting cryptocurrency as payment for cars in the US as a result of customer and dealership demand. There are also plans to extend this to Europe in the first quarter of 2024.

The carmaker will accept Bitcoin, Ethereum and the stablecoin USDC as payment in the US and is partnering with Bitpay to facilitate the payments. Bitpay has the ability to process crypto payments from over 100 crypto wallets and describes itself as “the number one crypto payments processor in the world”.

Discussing the demand from customers Enrico Galliera, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer at Ferrari, told Reuters: “Some are young investors who have built their fortunes around cryptocurrencies. Some others are more traditional investors, who want to diversify their portfolios.”

He added: “This will help us connect to people who are not necessarily our clients but might afford a Ferrari.”

Ferrari has been eager to stay at the forefront of new technologies. In 2022, the company noted its interest in Web3 possibilities including NFTs, blockchain and crypto.

While crypto has been growing in popularity, many high-profile companies have not made the leap to accepting it due to its volatility, associated environmental issues and the lack of related regulation.

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By GlobalData

Ferrari is one of the first luxury car brands to start accepting payment. For a short period in 2021, Tesla was accepting crypto as payment, but CEO Elon Musk halted this due to concerns about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies using fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining. Honda also accepts crypto payment but via a third-party platform rather than directly.

According to GlobalData’s Cryptocurrencies – Thematic Intelligence report, the market value of all cryptocurrencies was valued at $1.1trn on 16 May.

GlobalData’s report provides some insight into the environmental impact of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s energy consumption has overtaken that of Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. It is the most energy-intensive crypto by far.