General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra announced Wednesday that the company had no plans of investing in Bitcoin, as reported by CNBC. The announcement comes immediately after Tesla shared it would be purchasing $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency, which is the largest existing virtual currency in terms of market value.
Responding to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas during an earnings call, Barra said, “We don’t have any plans to invest in bitcoin, so full-stop there.” She continued, “This is something we’ll monitor and we’ll evaluate. If there’s strong customer demand for it in the future, there’s nothing that precludes us from doing that.”
They will have to at least match Tesla’s $1.5bil just to keep up with them, as will all car companies. Imagine Tesla makes more money by the end of the year from that Bitcoin than GM’s profit for that same year!! FOMO incoming!!
— Crypto Hash Review (@c_hashreview) February 10, 2021
A major barrier to accepting Bitcoin payments for GM has to do with the company’s franchised dealer network, which would seemingly require quite the process to make cohesive across platforms.
Since GM doesn’t sell directly to its customers, unlike Tesla, the company would need agreement from all of its dealers and their shared systems before it could even consider accepting cryptocurrency payments.
Tesla, on the other hand, expects increased flexibility on cash returns and extra liquidity when the company does finally start accepting Bitcoin payments.
Regardless, the dialogue feels straight out of the 21st century, to be sure, where decentralized financing options are becoming more and more of a reality, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming the mainstream, and self-driving cars are already hitting the road.