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The ability to afford one of the world’s most expensive vehicles doesn’t only indicate high status of bitcoin holders, but shows the cryptocurrency has real-world value.
In a bitcoin world, you are not really considered a millionaire if you can’t afford buying a Lamborghini. Owning the super car has become the ultimate status symbol among the members of the crypto community.
In 2017, the luxury automobile producer reached record sales performance, delivering 3,815 vehicles to its customers all over the world. If compared to the previous year, the company’s sales grew by 10% from 3,457 to 3,815 units.
The purchase of the Italian sports car is an Internet meme: when a new coin promises to bring huge money for its buyers, someone might ask “When Lambo” in regards to when the investors will be able to afford a Lamborghini.
There is even a site, called when-lambo, which allows bitcoin and ethereum owners to estimate when their cryptocurrencies will be high enough to let them acquire the supercar.
Last fall, a 35-year-old coder from Atlanta, Peter Saddington, paid 45 bitcoins to get a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan worth $200,000, at the peak of the cryptocurrency craze. This sum cost Saddington less than $115 when he bought them back in 2011 for $3 per coin.
Saddington is the CTO of VinWiki, an Atlanta-based startup that offers automotive histories for used cars, and also runs a digital currency forum The Bitcoin Pub and two YouTube channels about the cryptocurrency.
“I am a long term HODLER, or holder, of bitcoins,” Saddington told CNBC. “I’ve been holding it since 2011 as much as I can.” He added that he’s bought bitcoin every Friday for five years.
“Buying the Lambo with bitcoin is proof it can be used for real transactions, buying really cool stuff,” Saddington told Yahoo Finance last year. “It’s not only used by criminals.”
Saddington paid the seller directly in bitcoin, including a transaction fee of $7.95 and the sales tax in cash.
“I’ve been in this business long enough that nothing really surprises you,” said Brandon Saszi, a general manager of MotorCars, where Saddington purchased his car. “The only thing you’re thinking is, ‘Gosh I wish I was in on it.’
A general manager at Lamborghini dealership in Costa Mesa, California, Pietro Frigerio, told CNBC earlier this year that they recorded growth of car sales as the price of bitcoin showed an upturn in value. According to Frigerio, the dealership made over 10 deals involving virtual money in December, when bitcoin’s price surged to more than $19,000.
“We went from one, maybe two transactions a month from 2013 until 2016, and in [December 2017] alone we had over 10 transactions,” Frigerio said. In January, despite the fall of bitcoin price, he sold three lambos in exchange for the digital currency.
In 2015, the purchase of a Lamborghini helped Piper Moretti, a realtor specializing in helping people buy homes with bitcoin, to sell a $3.2 million home in Manhattan Beach. The deal helped Moretti to persuade home owners that bitcoin is legal and can be used to make real purchases
The trend proves that bitcoin is not just an internet currency, but real money that can be used to acquire real things like automobiles and homes.