Bitcoin was created to be a transactional currency to be used to purchase things.
As it gains more mainstream acceptance there have been a large number of things that have been added to the stable of items purchased with Bitcoin, from simple things to food items, to more obscure items like comic books. We have also previously covered some of the weirdest items that you can purchase with Bitcoin.
As the price of Bitcoin has risen, the number of expensive items being bought with it has grown as well. It’s not uncommon anymore for Bitcoin millionaires to be buying all the trappings of a luxury lifestyle, including cars, houses and yachts. And some Bitcoin purchases have become staggering as the price rises as well.
The most famous of these is the Bitcoin pizza purchase made by Laszlo Hanyecz in 2010. He purchased two Papa John’s pizza’s for 10,000 Bitcoin. At the time that was about $30 worth of Bitcoin. However, even with Bitcoin sliding well off its all-time highs in 2018, as of late October 2018 with Bitcoin worth around $6,500 each, those two pizzas are now worth a whopping $65 million! That’s some serious dough.
Let’s have a better look at some of the most expensive things being bought with Bitcoin.
Cars for Bitcoin
This could be the largest class of expensive items being bought with Bitcoins as many Bitcoin early adopters now live up to the slogan “When Lambo?” The most famous such purchase was made by YouTuber, Bitcoin forum owner and CTO of VinWiki Peter Saddington late in 2017.
He purchased a $200,000 2015 Lamborghini Huracan with a white matte wrap and race exhaust features for 45 Bitcoin. Those same 45 Bitcoin now would be worth $292,500, but Saddington says he paid just $115 for those 45 Bitcoins back in 2011 when he first became aware of Bitcoin.
Courtesy of Peter Saddington
Lambos are considered by some early cryptocurrency adopters to be the only acceptable way to spend Bitcoin. Cashing out is discouraged, and true believers in the cryptocurrency revolution are encouraged to “Hodl” “to the moon”. There have also been several stories of Tesla purchases using Bitcoin, such as the 2013 purchase of a Tesla S by someone in Florida for 91 BTC worth $109k at the time, but worth $more than $53.8 million at today’s prices.
Car dealerships who accept Bitcoin say sales of cars for Bitcoin spiked in December 2017 when the price of Bitcoin also spiked, but that some Bitcoin sales still continue.
Houses/Condos for Bitcoin
Real estate transactions have made headlines over the past year or two, and purchasing property with Bitcoin has become increasingly popular. There’s even a Bitcoin property website which currently lists a chalet in the French Alps for $4,950,000, a Panama penthouse for $3,595,000, or your own private Australian island for $3,500,000. There are more properties listed in the U.S., Thailand, Bali, the Caribbean, Turkey and pretty much anywhere in the world.
Reports of real estate purchases using Bitcoin began popping up as early as 2014, with an anonymous buyer purchasing a Bali villa for 800 BTC ($500k at the time, but $5.2 million now) in March and another anonymous buyer purchasing 1.4 acres in Lake Tahoe California for 2,739 Bitcoin worth $1.6 million then, but more than $17.8 million now. While these we called Bitcoin purchases, they were actually purchases made where Bitcoin was converted to fiat currency to complete the transaction.
Courtesy of Zillow.com
The largest actual Bitcoin real estate purchase I uncovered was from February 2018, where bitcoin investor Michael Komaransky sold his Miami mansion for 455 BTC or roughly $6 million at the time. The same 455 BTC are worth just under $3 million at the time of this writing.
Bitcoin for Airplanes
When the rich and famous travel they go in style on their own private jets, and the new breed of Bitcoin millionaire has been aspiring to the same. The first instance of using Bitcoin for a private jet was in 2014, when Bitcoin Foundation member Olivier Janssens reportedly chartered a private jet from PrivateFly.com.
While the details of the transaction weren’t made public, based on prices from the website the flight could have cost as much as 54.95 BTC or $35,000 then and an astounding $357,175 now!
Courtesy of SkyCraft Airplanes
And while I wasn’t able to find any actual purchases (likely because Bitcoin users prefer to remain anonymous), since December 2013 it’s been possible to purchase your very own aircraft from SkyCraft Airplanes using Bitcoin. When first announced, the SkyCraft SD-1 Minisport was available for 80 BTC. The current price of an SD-1 Minisport is $54,850, or roughly 8.5 BTC.
Bitcoin for Yachts
Having a yacht is one of the hallmarks of the super-wealthy, and Bitcoin millionaires are joining the yachting ranks as well. It’s not easy to find specific examples, but the market is definitely there, with Dennison Yachting of Florida adding Bitcoin as a payment method after requests from several customers, and 26 North Yachts, also of Florida, claiming to be the largest yacht broker to accept Bitcoin.
Courtesy of 26 North Yachts
An Education with Bitcoin
Universities are getting around to accepting Bitcoin for payments too, so you can learn about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, while paying for the education with a cryptocurrency. The University of Nicosia in Cyprus was the very first university to accept Bitcoin for payment all the way back in 2013, while King’s College was the first U.S. university to jump on the Bitcoin wagon in 2014. With current tuition at King’s College running roughly $35,000 per semester, a full four-year program will run around $140,000 or 21.53 BTC at current prices.
Other universities accepting Bitcoin include European School of Management and Technology in Berlin Germany and The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland, which announced the acceptance of Bitcoin for tuition in October 2017. Having a Swiss university accepting Bitcoin doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since Zug, Switzerland is called “Crypto Valley” and has over 50 blockchain companies and startups headquartered there.
The small South Pacific country of Vanuatu became the first nation in the world to offer citizenship for a payment in Bitcoin. The cost is roughly $180,000, so if you need a second passport and have around 27 BTC sitting in a wallet somewhere you could become the citizen of a small, but beautiful, South Pacific island nation. In reality they don’t accept Bitcoin, but have set up a transfer agent in Australia who will take care of the exchange from BTC to USD to purchase the citizenship.
The small Caribbean country Antigua and Barbuda DOES accept Bitcoin for its citizenship program, which is somewhat cheaper than Vanuatu at just $135,000 or just over 20 BTC. They became the first country to accept Bitcoin for citizenship as of July 23, 2018.
The number of items that can be purchased using Bitcoin continues to increase, and as the value of Bitcoin remains high the luxury items seem to be some of the most popular. It makes sense to use Bitcoin for these large purchases, because it can save easily 5-10% in fees, which is huge when you’re making purchases of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
As long as the value of Bitcoin remains high the trend towards purchasing big ticket items with the cryptocurrency is almost certain to remain, and as more people adopt Bitcoin we should see an increasing number of such purchases. By the time our children are grown it could be normal to pay for your car and house with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
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