It seems the future has arrived in the Capital Region. An East Greenbush car dealership is now accepting a decentralized digital currency called Bitcoin.
Could this move be the start of a new trend in the Capital Region?
“I just think there’s a lot of upside to it and why wait," said Eugene Rubinchuk, general manager of Michael's Auto Plaza.
This summer, Rubinchuk began keeping an eye on Bitcoin.
“If this really takes us off, everyone will be accepting Bitcoin, so why not be the pioneer in the area?" he asked.
He discovered quite the trend.
“I believe it was August, been following the meteoric rise. I've seen articles, read articles in Korea and Japan [about] how half the population uses digital currency to purchase everyday goods," said Rubinchuk.
It was then that he thought it was only a matter of time before Bitcoin became part of everyday life in the United States. It's only been two days, and so far, no one has purchased a vehicle at Michael's with Bitcoin, but it's an option now.
“If a car you’re looking at is $18,000, you’d go into your digital wallet and send -- via email -- one Bitcoin to our email, and it gets deposited right into our digital wallet, and from there, we can withdraw into our bank account," said Rubinchuk.
Rubinchuk says his dealership isn’t doing this as a means of investing for the business’s own benefit. He says Michael’s Auto Plaza is simply trying to make life easier for its customers.
“We really don't want to accept credit cards because of crazy fees, so digital currency is another way for the customer to do a transaction," he said.
For now, only time will tell if Michael’s really is pushing the pedal on a new trend in the Capital Region, or if the decision to bank on Bitcoin runs out of gas.
“Maybe someone will buy a car using Bitcoin ... whether tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, who knows? At least that options is there," Rubinchuk said.