Here’s some free advice for the Honda Motor Company: Market your cars to the newly bitcoin rich.
I’ve already got the ad copy for you.
A true bitcoiner is building for the future and deferring gratification. She doesn’t blow her hard-earned savings on flashy toys. She prefers a solid, dependable family car.
And a slogan….
Lambos are for losers. HODLers drive Hondas.
Marc Hochstein, CoinDesk’s executive editor, owns some bitcoin, and if he were smarter he’d have bought more years ago. This article is excerpted from The Node, CoinDesk’s daily roundup of the most pivotal stories on the future of money and Web 3.0. You can subscribe to get the full newsletter here.
OK, so I’m no Don Draper. It’s doubtful Honda or any other affordable carmaker would heed my suggestion any time soon. It’s different for luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla, which doesn’t need to be told – it’s already doing something similar.
This week, the manufacturer began accepting bitcoin as payment for its cars, delivering on a promise made in early February by its impish chief executive, Elon Musk. Underscoring his faith in the currency, Musk declared on Wednesday that Tesla would keep rather than convert any bitcoin it earns from car sales.
Typically, the rare merchant that accepts crypto as payment for goods or services will swap it right away for U.S. dollars or another fiat currency. That’s understandable, given the price volatility and the low likelihood that a merchant’s suppliers would take magic internet money. But the Tesla chief said his company is HODLing.
For the uninitiated, HODLing is bitcoin slang for refusing to sell BTC, either to take profits in a bull market or to cut losses in a bear market. Based on a forum poster’s drunken misspelling of “hold,” the word broadly connotes a steely determination in the face of fear, uncertainty and doubt. A HODLer is someone who, to borrow from Rudyard Kipling, “can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.”
Musk clearly is one, in at least the narrow sense, having invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin for Tesla’s corporate treasury beginning this year. Over the last 12 months, the cryptocurrency’s price has soared nearly 700%, as inflation fears, a self-perpetuating hype cycle and possibly pandemic lockdown boredom spurred buying among individual and institutional investors. Like Tesla, for instance.
Yet, while I’m sure Musk would be happy to keep growing Tesla’s BTC stash one car sale at a time, I strongly suspect that isn’t his only or main motivation.
Rather, my gut is that the payment option is at least in part, if not primarily, a clever marketing maneuver.
Incentives to HODL
First off, there’s no indication Tesla is offering a discount to buyers who pay with bitcoin, which you…
Read more:Elon Musk’s Bitcoin Marketing Coup