MILAN, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Ferrari (RACE.MI) has started accepting cryptocurrency payments for its luxury sports cars in the United States and will extend the scheme to Europe following requests from wealthy customers. The company’s marketing and commercial director told Reuters. .
The majority of blue-chip companies avoid cryptocurrencies because the volatility of Bitcoin and other tokens makes them impractical for commercial transactions. Irregular regulations and heavy energy usage are also hindering the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
That includes electric car maker Tesla (TSLA.O), which started accepting payments in Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, in 2021, citing environmental concerns. CEO Elon Musk has been suspended.
Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s chief marketing and commercial officer, told Reuters the cryptocurrency has strived to reduce its carbon footprint through the introduction of new software and increased use of renewable resources.
“Our goal of achieving carbon neutrality across our value chain by 2030 is fully confirmed,” he said in an interview.
Ferrari said the decision was made in response to demand from the market and dealers, as many of its customers have invested in cryptocurrencies.
“There are also young investors who have built their wealth around cryptocurrencies,” he said. “Other investors are more traditional investors who want to diversify their portfolio.”
While some cryptocurrencies, such as the second-largest Ether, have improved energy efficiency, Bitcoin still draws criticism for its energy-intensive mining.
Ferrari shipped more than 1,800 cars to the Americas region, including the United States, in the first half of this year.
Galliera did not say how many cars Ferrari expects to sell through cryptocurrencies. He said the company’s order portfolio is strong and fully booked all the way to 2025, but the company wanted to test this expanding world.
“This helps us connect with people who are not necessarily our customers, but can afford to buy a Ferrari,” he said.
The Italian company, which will sell 13,200 cars in 2022, with prices ranging from more than 200,000 euros ($211,000) up to 2 million euros, plans to roll out a cryptocurrency scheme in Europe by the first quarter of next year. The plan is to expand to other regions after that. Cryptocurrency is legally recognized.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is Ferrari’s largest region, accounting for 46% of total vehicle shipments in the first half of this year.
“The interest is the same in the U.S. and in Europe, and I don’t see much difference,” Galliera said.
Countries where virtual currencies are restricted include China.
Ferrari focuses on BitPay, one of the largest cryptocurrency payment processors in the US in its early stages, allowing transactions in Bitcoin, Ether, and USDC, one of the largest so-called stablecoins It’s a schedule. Ferrari may use other payment processors in different regions.
“When you pay with cryptocurrencies, the price does not change and there are no fees or surcharges,” Galliera said.
Bitpay instantly converts crypto payments into traditional currencies on behalf of Ferrari dealers, protecting them from price fluctuations.
“This was one of our main goals: to ensure that both dealers and ourselves avoid dealing with cryptocurrencies directly and are protected from its large fluctuations,” Galliera said.
As a payment processor, BitPay guarantees that virtual currency comes from legitimate sources, is not derived from criminal activity, and is not used to launder proceeds of crime or evade taxes.
Ferrari’s marketing and commercial director said the majority of U.S. dealers have already signed up for the scheme or are in the process of agreeing to it.
“I’m sure others will join soon,” Galliera said.
(1 dollar = 0.9495 euro)
Report by Giulio Piovaccari in Milan. Additional reporting by Tom Wilson in London.Editing: Louise Heavens
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