Tilman Fertitta says his luxury dealership has sold 17 cars for bitcoin

Billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta informed CNBC on Tuesday his luxury automobile dealership has sold greater than a dozen autos for bitcoin because it started transactions utilizing the digital foreign money almost three years in the past.

Fertitta’s feedback on “Power Lunch” got here at some point after Tesla introduced plans to start accepting bitcoin as cost for its merchandise. The electric-vehicle maker additionally mentioned it bought $1.5 billion value of bitcoin utilizing money on its stability sheet.

“Tesla taking it is much more important than me taking it, but believe it or not, we’ve sold 17 cars — Bentleys and [Rolls-Royces] — with bitcoin,” mentioned Fertitta, who additionally runs a huge hospitality empire as chairman and CEO of Houston-based Landry’s Inc.

Fertitta’s Post Oak Motor Cars first started to just accept bitcoin in 2018, based on The Houston Chronicle. He informed CNBC the thought of accepting bitcoin transactions got here from his group of staff. “We’ve always talked about being innovative and ahead of everybody else and don’t be a dinosaur around here or you won’t last,” he mentioned.

In its submitting Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla mentioned it’ll begin accepting bitcoin as a cost within the close to future, “subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which we may or may not liquidate upon receipt.” If that occurs, Tesla would develop into the primary main automaker to just accept the digital coin.

Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market worth, has seen its worth surge greater after the Tesla information grew to become public. It was buying and selling above $47,000 per coin Tuesday afternoon.

At the time Fertitta’s dealership adopted bitcoin for transactions, the risky digital coin traded round $6,000 to $7,000 apiece. It was within the midst of a roughly yearlong backslide, falling under $4,000 by December 2018. Bitcoin’s worth had peaked slightly below $20,000 in December 2017.

Bitcoin started a sturdy rally final 12 months, breaking previous its 2017 excessive in late November. Numerous elements have been attributed to the digital coin’s huge run, together with adoption by high-profile buyers who’ve touted its potential as a hedge in opposition to inflation. Established corporations corresponding to PayPal even have entered the crypto house, and a few counsel that institutional adoption has helped gas bitcoin’s upside transfer.

Tesla’s adoption affords “powerful endorsements” for bitcoin as a retailer of worth and as a method of cost, Allianz chief financial advisor Mohamed El-Erian informed CNBC on Monday.

Fertitta has spoken positively about bitcoin for years, telling CNBC in December 2017 he believed it was “here to stay.”

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