BitPay was Conduit for U.S. Bitcoin 'Purchase' of Tesla

BitPay was Conduit for U.S. Bitcoin 'Purchase' of TeslaThe most publicized bitcoin transaction to date — the purchase of a Tesla from a California dealership — wasn’t actually a direct bitcoin transaction after all.
Cryptocurrencies took on a very real quality last week when it was widely reported that Lamborghini Newport Beach in Costa Mesa, Calif., a high-end car dealership, sold a Tesla for $119,000 in bitcoins.
However, Pietro Frigerio, the general manager of Lamborghini Newport Beach, told CNBC on Monday that he never actually accepted bitcoins from the buyer.
Frigerio said he treated the virtual currency transaction like he has similar deals with customers who pay in foreign currencies or even gold bars.
The buyer was asked to convert the bitcoins into U.S. dollars first. That’s a good thing, since the value of bitcoin crashed the day after the announced Tesla sale from over $1,000 to less than $700. Bitcoin has since recovered to a range above $800.
Nonetheless, the transaction is a breakthrough for bitcoins. The dealership used an app called BitPay to transfer the buyer’s bitcoins into dollars during the transaction.
Bitpay allows merchants to accept bitcoins. The business spearheading the transaction, however, can choose to wait at least one day for the bitcoins to be transfered into its bank account before completing the sale. That’s what the dealership did.
The dealership’s marketing director had reported to media outlets last week that the car cost about 91.4 bitcoins.
“We enable online merchants to accept bitcoins, as a form of payment, just as they accept payments from Visa, Mastercard, or Paypal,” BitPay states on its website.

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