Is General Motors Planning to Accept Bitcoin Payments?

Statements from the company's CEO are ambiguous, but encouraging.

Shutterstock photo by Linda Parton

Key Takeaways

  • General Motors CEO Mary Barra has commented on Bitcoin.
  • Though GM does not want to invest in Bitcoin, Barra implied it could accept BTC as payment during a recent investor call.
  • This ultimately depends on whether there is customer demand.

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Automotive giant General Motors is monitoring Bitcoin’s potential, according to statements from its CEO, but it is not yet clear whether the firm actually plans to accept the cryptocurrency.

GM Is Monitoring Bitcoin

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently stated that the company “[doesn’t] have any plans to invest in Bitcoin, so full stop there.”

She continued: “This is something we’ll monitor, and we’ll evaluate, and if there’s strong customer demand for it in the future, there’s nothing that precludes us from doing that.”

In context, the latter half of Barra’s statement seems to suggest that the firm is examining Bitcoin’s potential as a means of payment.

Her answer was given in response to a question from Adam Jonas, a research analyst at Morgan Stanley, who noted that Bitcoin was “optimal for big ticket purchase[s]” such as cars.

Jonas’ question was prompted by the fact that a “growing number of high-profile companies including a major competitor” are holding Bitcoin. He was likely referring to Tesla and its decision to invest $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and accept BTC as a means of payment.

General Motors and Blockchain

Barra concluded that she is “taking [the] question very seriously,” suggesting that General Motors is actually monitoring Bitcoin’s potential, and that this was not an off-the-cuff answer.

That idea is supported by General Motors’ previous efforts. Aside from examining Bitcoin, General Motors has already filed for numerous blockchain patents. It is also part of the MOBI blockchain coalition, made up of several other car manufacturers.

Furthermore, GM has invested in at least one blockchain firm, Spring Labs, demonstrating that it is familiar with blockchain technology.

At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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