Sports car dealer BitCar has already raised $6m ahead of DigitalX-managed ICO
Luxury car dealer BitCar — which wants to use cyptocurrency and blockchain to create shared investments in sports cars — has raised more than $6 million in a pre-Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
ICOs are like Initial Public Offerings — but instead of offering shares in a company, an issuer offers digital tokens that can be traded on cryptocurrency platforms or redeemed for products or services.
BitCar, which is seeking to raise $25 million, sold 75 million “BITCAR” tokens worth $S6.5 million ($6.1 million) before the ICO was due to start in Singapore today. BitCar is selling a maximum of 175 million tokens.
The business will set up in Singapore for tax and regulatory purposes as regulators in Australia still grapple with the burgeoning cryptocurrency market.
BitCar is developing a Blockchain platform that offers cryptocurrency payments for fractional ownership of collectible hyper and classic car brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti.
The business plans to store or display the cars it buys on behalf of investors for up to 15 years, hoping they will appreciate in value before selling them.
BitCar co-founder Dr Gov Van Ek has signed partnership deals with luxury crypto investment traders such as UK-based Moonlambos and Dadiani Syndicate, which deal in everything from private jets to superyachts, art, watches and gold bullion using cryptocurrencies.
Moonlambos now accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum, and will take on Eltcoin and BitCar in early 2018.
Dr Van Ek was previously involved in Australia’s first ICO, a $34 million raise by Perth-based solar energy trader Power Ledger last year — via a blockchain business he also co-founded, Ledger Assets.
BitCar’s goal is to be the automotive industry’s main cryptocurrency.
“BitCar’s platform is designed to allow users to peg their crypto to scarce hard assets, like rare and exotic cars, some of which have outperformed gold, stocks and property over the past decade,” Dr Van Ek said.
The business was targeting high-end vehicles for their relative price stability.
“The high-end car sector is generally more stable than the cryptocurrency market, which is why BitCar believes luxury vehicles are a good investment in an otherwise volatile market,” Van Ek said.
Of course supercars are also the dream of nearly every budding cryto-mining billionaire.
The BitCar technology platform has been in R&D for more than two years and the business is also investigating applications targeting shared economy, autonomous vehicles and related IoT uses.
The company said a mechanism for returning asset appreciation to owners is the next phase of development for the platform.