Some bitcoin investors are watching General Motors (GM) closely in the wake of CEO Mary Barra’s response during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call to a question about whether the automobile giant might accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
During the call, according to a transcript posted by SeekingAlpha.com, Jonas asked whether GM might follow other companies — presumably Tesla among them, although he didn’t say so — in holding bitcoin to diversify its cash reserves or accepting it as payment for automobile purchases.
Jonas also asked: “…a $45,000 BTC is optimal for a big-ticket purchase like a car. So how does GM think about this opportunity?”
Barra responded, according to the transcript, that GM had no interest in investing in bitcoin, but as for accepting it as a currency for purchasing automobiles: “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.”
Barra did not elaborate in her remarks to Jonas, but to accept bitcoin at the corporate level, GM presumably would have to change its relationship with its dealers, since they, not the parent company, handle retail transactions.
CNBC reported shortly after Barra made her remarks that at least one automobile dealer was accepting bitcoin as payment for cars and had been doing so for several years.