Orange County Business Journal

Costa Mesa Lamborghini Dealer Does Bitcoin Deal

Mediha DiMartino Friday, December 6, 2013

Lamborghini Newport Beach in Costa Mesa accepted Bitcoin—a virtual currency—as payment for used Tesla Model S electric vehicle.

The purchase was initiated by a customer who found the vehicle on the Internet and asked the dealership if he could pay for it in bitcoins, according to dealership’s General Manager Pietro Frigerio.

“I was aware of bitcoins but didn’t expect to deal with them so soon,” Frigerio said. “We did our due diligence and evaluated the risk. It was very straightforward, like a PayPal (transaction).”

The buyer and dealership engaged in a brief price negotiation also conducted online. The deal was sealed with the help of BitPay Inc., an Atlanta, Ga.-based payment processor. The customer turned over unspecified number of bitcoins to BitPay, who then paid the dealership in U.S. dollars.

“An electronic currency was used to purchase a fully electric vehicle,” the dealership announced on its blog. “We are excited to be opening the door to this new currency.”

Bitcoin, when it was introduced in 2009, was worth $1. The popular-but-volatile currency has recently traded at a record-high value of $1,170.