UAE 'perfect' for new luxury car Blockchain platform

Cars are treated as pieces of art and not driven during their holding period
The Australia-based BitCar allows fractional ownership of luxury vehicles, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bugattis
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sun 07 Jan 2018 03:59 PM

Blockchain-based “tokenisation” of car ownership that allows car enthusiasts to own “fractions” of luxury vehicles is a perfect fit for the car-crazed Gulf region, according to the representatives of blockchain platform BitCar.

The Australia-based BitCar allows fractional ownership of luxury vehicles, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bugattis, allows users to park their cryptocurrency in “BITCAR tokens”, which can then be traded on a decentralised blockchain platform.

According to BitCar car specialist Daniel Woodroof, the cars on the platform are sourced and acquired by a third party agent, which handles the maintenance, storage and insurance.

The car will be kept for a minimum of five years,” Woodroof said. “After this point the owners of the car will be the asset token owners, and they can then democratically vote when they want the car to be sold, whether on the five-year mark or extended over time.”

“After this date is agreed, the car will be then taken to auction. When the car is sold, the returns are then passed back to the car token owners,” he added.

The cars themselves – which Woodroof said are “treated as pieces of art” – are not driven during their holding period, but BitCar is looking at ways to display them to the public, such as in airports, showrooms and museums.

Additionally, Woodroof said BitCar plans to examine a “gamification” asset to BitCar ownership.

“There will be points allocated to people who trade with the highest quantities over a set period of time,” he said. “People who trade the most will be able to win fractional experiences like track days. Since the cars won’t be driven in real-life, they can win a track day in similar exotic cars.”

Perfect for the Gulf?

Woodroof noted that BitCar sees the UAE and the rest of the GCC as a natural fit for the concept of fractional luxury car ownership.

“We think it’s perfect. It targets both of the verticals we’re in, cars and crypto. There is huge amount of interest in crypto and blockchain technology in this part of the world, whether it’s on an individual level or on a government level,” he said.

“And, of course, this is the region with the highest amount of luxury cars per capita in the world. There’s an interest in that market regardless.

“If we’re able to open that up to even more people in this region through fractional ownership, I definitely think the interest is already there,” he added.


Gov Van Ek, co-founder of BitCar

Fractional ownership in practice

Both Gov Van Ek, co-founder of BitCar, and Woodroof noted that the cars on the platform are sourced and acquired by a third party agent, which handles the maintenance, storage and insurance.

“The car will be kept for a minimum of five years,” Woodroof said. “After this point the owners of the car will be the asset token owners, and they can then democratically vote when they want the car to be sold, whether on the five-year mark or extended over time.

“After this date is agreed, the car will be then taken to auction. When the car is sold, the returns are then passed back to the car token owners,” he added.

The cars themselves – which Woodroof said are “treated as pieces of art” – are not driven during their holding period, but BitCar is looking at ways to display them to the public, such as in airports, showrooms and museums.

Additionally, Woodroof said BitCar plans to examine a “gamification” asset to BitCar ownership.

“There will be points allocated to people who trade with the highest quantities over a set period of time,” he said. “People who trade the most will be able to win fractional experiences like track days. Since the cars won’t be driven in real-life, they can win a track day in similar exotic cars.”

Interest ahead of ICO

Van Ek noted that an ongoing pre-sale ahead of BitCar’s ICO that began in late December has already attracted interest from significant investors.

“Some larger buys have already come to us and bought some larger chunks,” he said. “We’ve got some really solid appetite there. We’re in talks with some larger companies and funds, and that will go on until January 25 or until it sells out.”

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Last Updated: Mon 08 Jan 2018 11:06 AM GST

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