So What is Blockchain?

The latest buzzwords in technology for sure, but if you think that Blockchain is something that your technicians use when changing engines, you better read on…

Fundamentally, a blockchain is effectively just a database that stores information. However, blockchain has the ability to store information with unique attributes. Blockchain technology offers the following features.

Decentralisation. No single party has control over what goes into the blockchain. Arguably the most important feature of blockchain is this decentralisation. Copies of a blockchain ledger are stored and updated on computers all over the world. This means that no central authority can make decisions.

Consensus. Because so many different parties store the exact same copies of the blockchain ledger, the majority has to agree on what is being added to the blockchain.

‘Add Only’, meaning that existing information can not be edited and changed. Only new information can be added. And new information can not conflict with what has already been added.

A relatively easy way to explain how a blockchain works in practise is to look at the most well known applications of blockchain, a Bitcoin transaction. However remember that Bitcoin is to blockchain what e-mail is to the Internet, an application based on an infra structure.

So if I want to send 1 Bitcoin to you, everyone on the Bitcoin ledger can see that I have 1 Bitcoin and you have none. I can send you 1 Bitcoin and the network will see this and update every ledger. But in theory I could change my copy of the ledger to show that I have 2 Bitcoins. But with blockchain technology, this is impossible. Why?

Blockchain Security

The information stored on a blockchain is stored in groups, called blocks. Each block is time stamped and linked to the previous block, creating a linear chain of blocks, hence blockchain.


Each of the above block contains 3 types of information.

  • Transactions data
  • The block’s hash
  • The previous block’s hash

car dealer cryptocurrency

The hash is effectively the block’s fingerprint – a unique string of numbers that identifies each block. These numbers are automatically calculated based on the information stored within the block. If the block’s stored information is changed then by default you then change the hash of the block and thus its identity.

The hash of the previous block sits in each block, which is what creates the chain of blocks. This is what makes cryptocurrency so secure.


Each block contains the 3 elements listed above, but see below what happens when the information is tampered with in block 2

blockchain technology for automotive industry

Block 3 contains the hash of block 2 but when block 2 is changed, so does its hash meaning that everything in block 3 and beyond becomes invalid, breaking the chain.

It would then be essential to recalculate the hashes of every block that has changed. But that is just the start. The Bitcoin network makes it intentionally difficult to find these hashes. On average, and in the most simplistic of terms the hash for a block is found every 10 minutes by computers constantly guessing random numbers and seeing if they fit. This process is known as proof of work and is carried out by powerful computers. This is ‘Bitcoin mining’.

So for every block manipulated 10 minutes of intense computing work to mine each block would be required. And thats just the local copy!

As the Bitcoin ledger exists over tens of thousands of computers globally it would be required to access over 50% of the worlds computers. Insanely expensive and virtually impossible. Hence the reason blockchain technology is considered to be so secure.

Applications of Blockchain

Whilst in its infancy many experts consider that blockchain technology will radically change many industry sectors. Banking is the most obvious, negating the requirement for middlemen such as banks. Think also of voting rights, supply chain systems where access to current status and stock levels in immediate and indisputable.

For the car dealer there are multiple potential applications of blockchain. Accepting crypto currency as a means of payment for vehicle deposits, monthly payments and outright purchase is one. But also think of the benefits of the life history and buy jaguar e type with bitcoinspecifications of vehicles stored on the blockchain. That 60 year old Jaguar E-Type with full service history, repair records, parts and and maintenance stored for ever digitally.

Powerful stuff.


And So It Starts..

We have been banging the drum for almost 2 years now as to why car dealers should be servicing the requirements of over 4 million crypto users in the UK, let alone potential global buyers.

The simple fact is that car purchase is high on the shopping list of crypto users. Not just Ferraris and Lambo’s but also the option to use crypto as a payment for deposits as well as monthly leasing or PCP ferrari with bitcoin

And why not? Bitcoin is almost 10 years old and is here to stay. Countries across the globe are recognising that cryptocurrency is recognised as the most efficient form of money ever created. Secure, fast, easy to use and minimal transaction fees.

As expected, some high level car dealers are now waking up to new sales opportunities and are looking at how they can sell cars to crypto users. Take a look to see for yourselves here.

Crypto use globally is increasing daily, as is the use of the underpinning technology, Blockchain. Walmart already use blockchain to manage their stock supply chain and the major world banks are already in advanced stages of investigating how the technology can be integrated or even replace their current systems. When Amazon themselves are investigating their own cryptocurrency for use by their 80 million customers, strongly rumoured to launch before 2019 then people have to sit up and take notice.

AutoBlock Presenting at Autoplus18 London

AutoBlock were delighted to be asked to present at the International AutoPlus 18 event recently in London.

Trade partners from across the globe came together to network and discuss the future of technology in the global automotive industry. Popular topics included the growth in online advertising sales portals as well as CRM systems and lead generation. One thing car dealers accept bitcointhat we found most interesting was the consensus that lead generation and management were and will be of critical importance to car dealers.

Both generating quality leads that are then followed up efficiently to an effective conclusion are the life blood of car dealers. Indeed, historically potential buyers would visit a car showroom up to 7 times before committing to a purchase but with the advent of online information now available this has been significantly cut to an average of less than 2 visits.

Our presentation opened the eyes of many in attendance when they realised that there are over 4 million crypto users in the UK alone and that this sector was effectively being ignored. maying a car purchase with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency is high on the wants list of crypto holders and our extensive research has shown that car dealers are already receiving enquiries from potential car buyers.

Generating and chasing leads is of course essential but making sure that 6% of the UK population that is currently being ignored are helped with their desire to use Bitcoin and other digital currencies to buy cars should be pretty high on any car dealers lists of requirements.


AutoBlock at the House of Fine Art, Mayfair London

Fascinated to be at the House of Fine Art in Mayfair, London recently to attend their hugely popular invitation only cryptocurrency Art sale. Yes, their entire collection was being offered for sale to crypto users locally and globally. buy art with bitcoin

The gallery founder, Elio D’Anna explained that they were receiving numerous requests to transact with crypto and that it was simply too good an opportunity to miss out on. Much as the same way that crypto users can now use their digital assets to make car purchases via

With pieces ranging from £4,000 to over a quarter of a million UK Sterling the night was deemed to be a great success and we thank Elio and his team for inviting us along to watch proceedings with interest.

AutoBlock at the 2018 F&I Conference and Awards UK

AutoBlock were delighted to be invited to speak at the recent F&I Awards 2018 held in Leeds.

David White and Mustansar Iqbal were asked to present to over 500 delegates from the F&I Conference - crypto bitcoinUK’s leading finance and car dealerships, talking about cryptocurrency and blockchain and how this would impact on car dealers now and in the immediate future.  With over 20 minutes to talk about the fundamentals of blockchain technology, the creation and current use of Bitcoin and how car dealers are able to maximise the opportunity to sell to not only over 4 million UK crypto users but in many instances offer specialist sports, performance and classic cars globally, the audience were given the opportunity to ask a number of questions regarding fundamentals of cryptocurrency and the ease with which car dealers can accept crypto as a secure and stable means of payment.

Much was also discussed about the opportunities in car leasing, contract hire and PCP with finance brokers being very interested to hear how crypto can be used as a payment for monthly finance schemes as well as for car finance deposits.

bitcoin can be used to buy carsAfter a hectic networking lunch David was invited to sit on a panel of ‘Ask the Experts’ where for 40 minutes the audience were able to ask questions about car financing, car sales in the future, the threats posed to car dealers by technology and many more.

With speakers including Robert McKechnie, Head of Banking and FI, Equifax and Keith Bell, Barclays Partner Finance the event both stimulated and educated and generated some interesting and exciting questions.

A big thanks to Martin Hill, MD of Dealtrak for the invitation and opportunity and we look forward to catching up with our partners again soon.

Singapore Tech XLR8 Conference

The Autoblock were delighted to be invited to the Asia Tech XLR8 conference in September 2018. Networking at the highest level in crypto and blockchain we crypto currency conferenceaccelerated our partnership programmes with a number of key partners including the addition of escrow services, exchange agreements and some key tech partners.

With over 150 exhibitors present the opportunity to search out and discuss partnerships was almost overwhelming. BitForex, CoinX Pro and Genesis Capital were particularly interesting to engage with amongst many others.

Attracting the attention of many attendees with our current STO – many people were intrigued to learn about car dealers accepting crypto globally, and the influence that this may have on crypto adoption and use globally. Recognising that cars represent one of the highest value purchases people make other that accommodation, transacting via crypto enables people to use their digital assets to make a purchase of a real asset.

Car dealers are equally interested in our turnkey solution as this enables them to transact cars globally. The potential for sports and performance cars as well as classics sSingapore crypto conferenceis immense but there are also opportunities to use crypto to make deposit payments for cars locally as well as monthly finance payments.

A hugely successful event with many new partnerships and opportunities. TechXLR8 is on our agenda for 2019 already. Heat and humidity aside, Singapore is a quite enchanting place to visit and to do business, we look forward to our return.


POS Devices for Crypto?

Just like a traditional Visa/Mastercard hand held device, the vision of a similar device sat in UK car dealers to accept crypto payments may seem a long way off.

When in history though have 4 million consumers in the UK ever been ignored? Over 4 million people in the UK own crypto, many of them in substantial amounts. Buying cars crypto bitcoin payment deviceis high on their list, but try to buy a car with cryptocurrency, it is almost impossible.

The usual fears of currency stability and how to convert to sterling are easily answered. And the legitimacy of crypto, well, it is simply too big to ignore and more countries globally are recognising and legislating crypto.

It is just a matter of time before crypto use is commonplace in the UK, as it already is in many parts of the world.

Go to Moscow and you can buy a coffee with Bitcoin and withdraw cash from a Bitcoin ATC machine. Most countries in Europe and globally are way ahead of the UK in crypto uptake.

We remember 20 years ago when introducing websites and e-mail to car dealers, the crypto ostrichusual responses were along the lines of – its for geeks, or – it wont catch on. Hmmmm.

The good news – our POS devices are available and ready for use. Imagine spending 2 hours with a new customer in the showroom only to find after the deal is done that they want to pay with Bitcoin. Turn them away, or open up more profit opportunities? 

AutoCoinCars at The World Blockchain Forum

Mixing with crypto royalty recently at The World Blockchain Forum in London, Autocoin were delighted with the opportunity to discuss our project with crypto big hitters.

Trevor Koverko

Trevor Koverko

Moe Levin, CEO of Keynote, the investor in high tech startups and Roger Ver, CEO of listened with interest to details of our exciting project, with Trevor Koverko of Polymath taking time out to introduce us to his team.

Sean Walsh of Hyperblock Technologies Corp in North America expressed a keen interest in connecting.

Recognising that the global automotive industry is in need of disruption and modernisation, cryptocurrency offers a safe and

mustansar iqbal

Mustansar Iqbal, CEO, The AutoBlock

secure payment alternative to traditional funding. With over 4 million crypto users in the UK alone, projections of crypto use are set to grow exponentially.

Canny dealers globally are seeing this as the future, just as the internet revolutionised sales and marketing over 20 years ago.

crypto panel

Crypto – The Future Unfolds

One only needs to open a newspaper and see that Cryptocurrency is high on the list of topics under discussion amongst all Financial Experts. Banks are fearful but only have themselves to blame as a result of the bad reputation that they have contributed to over the years.

Top Accounting Firm KPMG have a dedicated division set up in Switzerland, this is what they say on their website:

As blockchain technology disrupts business models across industry and commerce, it’s also redefining the way investors view virtual property. Start-ups and tech firms are increasingly discovering this new potential to turn digital assets into real-world capital.

Another top Accounting practice, Ernst & Young issued a press release in July of this year as follows:

NEW YORK, July 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Ernst & Young LLP announced today its acquisition of certain technology assets and related patents from Elevated Consciousness, Inc., a San Francisco, CA-based startup focused on developing unique solutions for the crypto-asset ecosystem. The Andy Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax (“CAAT”) tool methodically connects with multiple cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets, allowing for better visibility into cryptocurrency transactions and inventory.

The acquisition is part of EY strategy to expand blockchain-related capabilities and services worldwide.

When International Accounting firms are prepared to make this level of investment we can all rest assured that Cryptocurrency is here to stay and is the way that financial transaction will be carried out in future.

Having A Product

Bitcoin was the original cryptocurrency and took a while to take off but once it had shrugged off the early criticisms of security and ‘money laundering’ it has now become buy cars with bitcoinmore widely accepted, not only as an investment, as one would do with stocks and shares, but as an alternative to cash or debit cards.

One of the largest on-line travel agents, Expedia, will now take Bitcoin for hotel bookings and will soon take them for flights and other services such as car rental and activities. But whilst small and medium-sized businesses readily embrace cryptocurrency it has been slow to gain traction with large stores and chains and large e-commerce sites. However, this may all change soon as it is heavily rumoured that Amazon, having bought a number of cryptocurrency related domain names, is working on means and methods of accepting crypto. Issues such as returns are being looked into but it looks highly likely that they will be accepting crypto sometime very soon.

With Bitcoin not having a specific product in mind we feel that it has certainly failed to gain as much traction in terms of use as it has as an investment medium. So Autocoin has come up with an application first. Whilst our team has a major and world-leading understanding of the technical side of cryptocurrency and blockchain it was developed to service the automotive sector.

We quickly realised that there was one sector of the automotive industry that would lend itself to blockchain technology and that was vehicle valuations. The three main valuation platforms are CAP-HPI, Glasses and for consumers – Parkers Guide. For many years the industry has felt that prices have been influenced by major manufacturers and fleet owners but nothing could be proven because of a lack of transparency.

Our technical team have delivered an International solution to create more accurate and ‘Real World’ vehicle valuations. Armed with the ability to accurately value cars through our blockchain solution we then addressed the problem of vehicle purchase, especially when cross-border transactions are involved. These can prove to be costly and time consuming complicated further by exchange rates.

Autocoin & Car Purchase

In the US Bitcoins are already being used for car purchases. Back in January a Lamborghini dealer in Orange County sold their first car for 91.4BTC. This was quickly followed by a second purchase by the same customer.

A Ford Main Dealer in Dallas also started to take Bitcoins not only for new cars but also pre-owned cars.

Overland Park Jeep, Dodge, Ram & Chrysler in Kansas accepts Bitcoin and has been selling top end cars such as Ferrari’s, Bentleys and other premium brands for quite a while in exchange for Bitcoins.

These are just a few examples in the US and the number of car dealers is growing. Dealers in the UK are understanding the need to take cryptocurrency. Every dealer approached has shown a keen interest.

The Market

In terms of the UK market there are about 2.5 million new car registrations each year of which just over 1 million cars are for private drivers whilst about 1.4 million are for business use. The vast majority of these cars are financed but more on this shortly.

There are about 8.1 million used cars changing hands every year. According to data company Statista 57% of used cars changing hands are sold through car dealers. This equates to 4.6 million cars.

In terms of outlets there are 5,000 main dealers according to the SMMT and could be north of 15,000 used car dealers. More important than these figures are the number of bitcoin car salesmain dealers and used car dealers advertising on the UK’s number one platform, Auto Trader as these are as likely to advertise on our platform, especially as the advertising will be free as long as they are willing to accept Autocoin.

There are 3,830 main dealers advertising on the platform along with 13,000 used car dealers.


Dealer Sales

Graham Hill is the UK’s leading expert on Motor Finance and has commented as follows:

‘New car sales have continued to struggle throughout 2018. Manufacturers pulled back on production as current models struggled to meet the new emissions tests, known as the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Any cars not meeting the new emissions standards by the end of August 2018 could, in theory, be scrapped so in order to avoid this situation some manufacturers such as the VW group pulled back on production whilst Jaguar Landrover closed down their order book completely for 3 months.

This means that many car dealers have seriously struggled to meet their targets for this year and are embarking on a push to the end of this year. This difficult situation for dealers followed on from the UK’s biggest dealership group, Pendragon, issuing a profits warning last October, which was quickly followed by International dealer group Inchcape, a FTSE 250 company operating in 29 countries, warning of difficulties ahead especially in the UK market that represents 15% of its total profits.

With the backdrop of diminished sales and increased competition, it isn’t surprising that dealers are taking a particular interest in alternative ways to finance cars in order to increase registrations. In another twist as with a drop in supply of new cars the demand for used cars has increased which, in turn has increased the average price of used cars being sold through auction houses according to British Car Auction’s Pulse Report. Again main dealers and used car dealers are very anxious to move more vehicles so an alternative to current finance methods and cash (fiat) payments can only add to their selling opportunities.

If I were Autocoin I would see the vulnerability of the major dealer groups as a positive. Shares in Pendragon, Lookers and Vertu Motors have dropped over the last 12 months with Pendragon down 25% from a year ago. At the end of last year major hedge funds were shorting shares in the above as well as Autotrader which relies heavily on income from the dealer groups.

In order to strengthen share prices, an announcement that one of the main dealer groups was to start taking Cryptocurrency would not only improve their share price it could give a massive boost to Autocoin as the only specialist cryptocurrency in this sector’.

It is our intention to approach not only main dealers and used car dealers but also the major dealer groups playing one off against the other. The belief is that once one group bites the others will be keen to follow.

The Finance Model

Initially, it is our intention to facilitate new and used car sales in exchange for autocoins and/or a mixture of Autocoins and fiat currency.

However, it has quickly become clear that if new car sales are down so is the income derived through the addition of finance to both the dealer, by way of finance commission, and the finance companies that provide Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and Personal Contract Hire (PCH).

Latest figures show that the financing of cars to private individuals is now split 80% PCP to around 14% PCH with the rest funded by various types of loans and HP. The view is that within 10 years PCH will overtake PCP. We will explain the reasons later.

Our challenge was to find a way of integrating Autocoins with finance repayments. We have the solution.

The monthly payments can be taken from the client’s wallet with safeguards in place to ensure that the monthly payments are made to the lender. But why fund a finance arrangement with Autocoins? Graham Hill explains:

‘There are two principal reasons why you should use Autocoins for monthly PCP or PCH payments when acquiring a new car in particular.

The first is what us Cost and Mangement Accountants would call ‘Acquisition Cost’. For example, a company has the option of buying a car for cash or financing on some sort of period (say 3 years) agreement. Pay cash and you avoid interest charges that you would pay in any sort of finance arrangement. However, you would lose any interest that you would have earned had you placed your cash in a deposit account and paid monthly. That’s the simple answer but what you are actually doing is losing the use of the cash to invest further in the business that could return 10% or more in profit, far outweighing the interest incorporated into the finance payments.

That’s the business model but from an individual’s point of view they could use the retained cash to buy more Autocoins if the value fluctuates or use it for emergencies in the family etc. You have greater flexibility and security.

The second and most important reason is cost. Walk into a main dealer and offer to buy a car for cash and the salesman’s heart sinks. As a result, the discount you will receive will be minimal as he won’t be receiving any finance commission. However, express a desire to finance the car on a PCP (the most popular way for consumers to fund a car) and they’ll throw all but the kitchen sink into the deal.

You will be offered a good discount as a starter and if you have a part exchange they will offer a good figure for that. The funder will provide a further deposit contribution and you’ll probably be offered even more off the car as a contribution from the manufacturer. The final icing on the cake could be subsidised or zero APR.

So you receive all this saving, sometimes representing as much as 20% off the retail price of the car, just for taking out the finance. Even better news is that if you invest further in Autocoin and you see some substantial growth you can still ‘settle’ the finance thereby paying no more in interest charges (if there are any) and still retaining all of the front end discounts and bonuses’.

Personal Contract Hire (PCH)

Manufacturers use PCH as a means to move cars quickly. They can apply substantial discounts to cars, over and above the discounts available on PCP, because the customer doesn’t see the price paid by the leasing company, all he sees is the initial and monthly rental costs. As Graham Hill Explains:

‘It’s not an expression I like but the UK has become a ‘dumping ground’ for end of model cars, over produced cars and to increase sales as a means to keep the auto production lines running. They can also make use of cheap business and personal contract hire rates to encourage more drivers to take a brand new model if not enough are being seen on the roads. The best PR is to physically see cars on the road.

In the UK we have embraced contract hire for businesses and now we are seeing massive growth in PCH as a result of consumers understanding the product and often seeing the total lease cost of a PCH over 3 years slightly more than the normal first year’s depreciation of the car if bought for cash.

As an example, I have had a brand new car, supplied by a main dealer and delivered to the customer with a list price of £22,000 and an invoice price of £11,250 provided it is only invoiced to a contract hire company. That way customers don’t know how much the car is being sold for by the dealer. Cars provided to contract hire companies can have applied discounts and bonuses of up to 45% of list price.

Had the same car been supplied on PCP the best discount would probably only take the price down to £18,000. That way the discounted price wouldn’t affect greatly any 12-month-old used cars on offer for say £16,995 on the dealer’s forecourt. So whilst PCP is still the most popular product amongst consumers PCH is set to take over. Using a cryptocurrency to make the monthly payments makes a lot of sense and once one PCH provider bites the bullet it will be quickly followed by others very keen to not miss the boat’.

So, in summary, we already have the ability to make monthly payments using Autocoin that will meet the needs of both finance company and the consumers whilst drivers benefit from the various discounts and bonuses available.

Sub – Prime

One final point to be made on finance. Sub – Prime means that the customer doesn’t meet the minimum lending criteria for Prime rates (cheapest). However, this doesn’t mean that because the client has poor credit that he couldn’t easily manage to meet his financial commitments. Especially if his lease repayments will be met out of ring-fenced coins thus protecting the lender.

This could result in clients achieving prime rates which would normally be unachievable opening up a whole new sector.

Chief Executive of We Buy Cars Today – ‘Crypto Will Transform The Industry’

Interviewed recently by Automotive Management magazine, Thomas Delgado, chief executive of car buying group We Buy Cars Today has stated his belief that cryptocurrency will transform the automotive industry. Quoted as saying that as one of the leading car buying groups across the UK with hundreds of thousands of customers, many people are recognising the ease and simplicity of transacting with AutoCoin and that We Buy Cars Today are excited to be offering this option to their many clients.

we buy cars today

Full article available in AM magazine here