Luxury sports car manufacturer Ferrari has initiated the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments for its vehicles in the United States, with plans to expand the offering to Europe in the near future. Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, revealed that the decision to embrace cryptocurrencies was driven by requests from the market and dealers, responding to the growing number of clients who have invested in digital currencies.
Galliera acknowledged the diverse nature of Ferrari’s crypto clientele, noting that some are young investors who have amassed fortunes in the cryptocurrency space, while others are traditional investors seeking to diversify their portfolios. The move is seen as a strategic effort to connect with a broader audience, potentially reaching individuals who may not be current Ferrari clients but can afford the luxury vehicles.
To facilitate cryptocurrency transactions, Ferrari has partnered with BitPay, a leading cryptocurrency payment processor.
In the initial phase in the U.S., the luxury carmaker will accept payments in Bitcoin, Ether, and USDC, a stablecoin. Galliera emphasised that the prices for Ferrari vehicles will remain unchanged when using cryptocurrencies, with no additional fees or surcharges.
BitPay will play a crucial role in converting cryptocurrency payments into traditional fiat currency at the time of the transaction, shielding both Ferrari and its dealers from the inherent volatility of digital currencies. This aligns with Ferrari’s goal of avoiding direct exposure to cryptocurrency price fluctuations, ensuring a stable financial environment for both the company and its dealers.
Despite the luxury car industry’s traditional aversion to cryptocurrencies due to their volatility and regulatory uncertainties, Ferrari’s decision reflects the changing landscape and growing acceptance of digital assets. Other luxury brands, such as Tesla, have explored cryptocurrency payments but have suspended such concerns in the face of environmental concerns.
Ferrari’s commitment to environmental sustainability remains intact, with Galliera highlighting recent advancements in reducing the carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies. He mentioned efforts within the crypto industry to adopt new software and increase the use of renewable energy sources. Ferrari aims to achieve carbon neutrality throughout its entire value chain by 2030, aligning with broader sustainability goals.
While Ferrari did not disclose the expected number of cars to be sold through cryptocurrency payments, Galliera affirmed that the company’s order portfolio is strong and fully booked well into 2025. This move into cryptocurrency payments represents a strategic test to explore a potentially untapped market and engage with a wider audience beyond the company’s existing clientele.
The luxury car manufacturer plans to extend its cryptocurrency payment scheme to Europe by the first quarter of 2024 and subsequently explore other regions where cryptocurrencies are legally accepted. Ferrari’s largest region, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), accounted for 46% of its total car shipments in the first half of the current year.
The collaboration with BitPay ensures that the virtual currencies used for transactions originate from legitimate sources and are not associated with criminal activities, money laundering, or tax evasion. Galliera expressed confidence that the majority of Ferrari’s U.S. dealers would adopt the cryptocurrency payment scheme, with potential for additional participants in the future.
As cryptocurrency payments become more widely accepted in the luxury car market, Ferrari’s move signifies a strategic effort to capitalise on the growing popularity and adoption of digital assets, appealing to a diverse range of customers with varying investment profiles and preferences.