'It's the currency of the people:' Some Triangle businesses begin accepting bitcoin

Posted December 27, 2017 5:08 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:55 a.m. EDT

— Bitcoin is becoming an established investment, with trading in the currency and a Wall Street analyst writing about its strategies.

One bitcoin is currently worth about $15,000, but one of the biggest questions many consumers have is where they can spend the currency. In Raleigh, people can buy a car with bitcoin if they know where to go.

Omar Dahbour is not afraid to take risks in business.

His company, RDU Auto Sales, in Raleigh, just started accepting bitcoin as a method of payment.

“We brought it into the business to see if people were actually buying with bitcoin,” he said. “We wanted to differentiate. We wanted to try something new and we took a risk.”

It took only a few days for Dahbour to sell a truck using bitcoin.

“We just put a little widget on our website that we accept bitcoin on Dec. 14. We sold our first car with bitcoin on Dec. 18,” he said. “The individual who bought the car with bitcoin, he bought bitcoin in 2011 when it was less than a dollar. So, he spent a dollar and got a $19,000 truck.”

At RDU Auto Sales, employees believe that cryptocurrencies, specifically bitcoin, could be the future of car buying.

“Cryptocurrencies in general will change the way we buy and sell things,” Dahbour said. “Today, bitcoin is $15,000 and we sold one car for bitcoin. In five years, it could be [worth] $1 million.”

Rise Bakery in Durham accepted bitcoin in 2014 to help boost business.

“Using bitcoin was a stepping stone for us to become a bigger company like we are now, so it was awesome for that,” said Tom Ferguson Jr., CEO of Rise Franchising.

Rise stopped accepting bitcoin because their point of sale system was not compatible with it, but Ferguson would not be opposed to accepting it again in the future.

“It’s not the currency of the nation, it’s the currency of the people for the world to exchange it equally,” he said.