SINGAPORE - The luxury car distributor that sells the Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo models here has started to accept payments in cryptocurrency - a digital currency that is not regulated by the central bank.
EuroSports Global, which also distributes the Touring Superleggera brand, said on Monday (April 18) that allowing crypto payments will reduce the cost of transaction fees, simplify cross-border transactions and enable protected borderless payments.
It also noted that it will "address the growing demand for flexible and easy-to-use cryptocurrency payments".
The company and its subsidiaries have partnered digital payment provider Fomo Pay to accept cryptocurrency payments, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT and USDC.
Last month, Bitcoin rose to a three-month high of around US$48,000 (S$65,600) but slipped to below US$40,000 on Monday. It rebounded on Tuesday and has been hovering around US$41,000.
If a consumer had bought an Alfa Romeo car priced at $250,000 last month, he would have used only 3.81 Bitcoin to pay for it. But if he decides to buy the car this week, he would need at least 4.57 Bitcoin.
Market analysts said the volatility of Bitcoin will continue as long as the supply is limited and the coin is not regulated by any central bank.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has warned that crypto trading is highly risky and not suitable for the public.
Despite the volatile cryptocurrency market, more merchants are now accepting crypto payments.
Crypto-exchange platform Luno, which has applied for a digital payment token licence from the MAS, said on April 13 that it has surpassed 10 million customers across 40 or so countries.
Ms Sherry Goh, global expansion manager and country manager for Singapore at Luno, which is headquartered in London, said: "Singapore is one of Luno's key markets, given its reputation as a global financial hub with a progressive business environment.
"We witnessed more than 40 per cent year-on-year growth in our customer base between March 2021 and February 2022.
"There is still a continued favour for Bitcoin and Ethereum - as with past years - among Singaporeans. For the past year, 25 per cent of our new customers bought Bitcoin while 20 per cent bought Ethereum."
Last month (March), Fomo Pay founder and chief executive Louis Liu told The Straits Times that the firm, which obtained the first digital payment token licence from the MAS last September (2021), has since processed a handful of sale transactions in cryptocurrency, with most car sales at $1 million and above.
Merchants that accept payments in cryptocurrency include luxury and supercar dealer F1 Auto Cars, online sneaker and collectibles marketplace Novelship, 2ToneVintage, which buys and sells vintage watches, and luxury goods marketplace Luxehouze.