Ferrari makes crypto move amid wealthy customers’ requests

abdelaziz Fathi

Ferrari, the luxury sports car manufacturer, has initiated accepting cryptocurrency as payment for its high-end vehicles in the U.S. This move is expected to be extended to Europe, catalyzed by demands from its affluent clientele, according to the company’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Enrico Galliera.

Ferrari’s decision is noteworthy given that many major enterprises remain cautious about cryptocurrency’s inherent volatility, concerns about regulatory ambiguity, and the environmental footprint of some coins. This move can be compared with electric carmaker Tesla’s short-lived acceptance of bitcoin payments in 2021, which was later suspended by CEO Elon Musk, citing ecological considerations.

However, Galliera expressed optimism about the evolving crypto landscape, highlighting recent advancements in making cryptocurrency more environmentally friendly. The embrace of cryptocurrencies by Ferrari is attributed to the growing interest of its customers, many of whom have delved into crypto investments.

Galliera revealed that a big portion of U.S. dealers have already embraced this initiative or are on the verge of doing so.

“Our target to reach for carbon neutrality by 2030 along our whole value chain is absolutely confirmed. Some are young investors who have built their fortunes around cryptocurrencies. Some others are more traditional investors, who want to diversify their portfolios,” he said in an interview.

In the first half of 2023, the iconic Italian brand shipped over 1,800 cars to the Americas, which encapsulates the U.S. market. Although Galliera refrained from providing estimates on potential crypto-facilitated sales, he proudly highlighted Ferrari’s robust order portfolio that extends up to 2025. This venture into cryptocurrency payments, he remarked, is more of an exploration into the burgeoning digital currency ecosystem.

Having sold approximately 13,200 cars in 2022, with price tags ranging from 200,000 euros ($211,000) to 2 million euros, Ferrari aspires to roll out its crypto payment system in Europe by early next year. Subsequently, the scheme will be expanded to other regions with permissible cryptocurrency regulations, excluding nations with strict legal constraints like China.

To navigate the complexities of crypto transactions, Ferrari has collaborated with BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment processor, for its U.S. phase. Payments will be accepted in major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether, and USDC. BitPay’s role will be pivotal in converting crypto payments to fiat currency instantly, safeguarding dealers from unpredictable crypto fluctuations. Furthermore, BitPay will ensure the legitimacy of these digital transactions, ensuring they are devoid of any criminal associations.

“Prices will not change, no fees, no surcharges if you pay through cryptocurrencies. This was one of our main goals: avoiding, both our dealers and us, to directly handle cryptocurrencies and being shielded from their wide fluctuations,” Galliera said.

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