Bitcoin, What’s It All About?

Bitcoin, crypto currency, whats it all about? Many people still think that Bitcoin was a passing fad, but here we are 10 years later and Bitcoin is still going strong. Indeed, Bitcoin increased in value almost $3,000 over the last month alone. There is some serious money being made.

So whats this got to do with car dealers? Well, its pretty straight forward, there are over 3 million Bitcoin wallets in the UK alone. Which means that 3 million Brits have Bitcoin. It is estimated that 500,000 of these wallets contain significant amounts of Bitcoin. And people are wanting to use it to buy tangible goods.

The recent announcement by Starbucks saying that they are now accepting Bitcoin in their outlets is a huge step forward towards mainstream adoption of crypto currency, but this pales into the realms of also rans when compared to the BBC’s revelation that Facebook are creating their own crypto currency. Imagine the take up and exposure that will generate. So whilst current adoption of BTC is relatively low, this looks to change significantly.

Why are people so bothered about crypto currency? It is secure, it is fast and cheap to transact and allows financial freedom devoid of the manipulation and interference of banking and financial institutions. A younger generation is used to being in control of their digital assets and transact daily via their mobiles. So in much the same way as car dealers proclaimed the internet as just being a passing fad some 20 years ago, like it or not the buyers want to transact how they want to transact. Not necessarily how a car dealer wants them to transact.

So Car Dealers – When Did YOU Last Visit A Showroom?


Last week I had an hour to kill between appointments and though that a long overdue visit to a car dealer was in order. I had been promising myself this for a long time, having heard many stories from both buyers and sellers alike. So I thought it was high time to test the experience first hand.

From everything I had heard, and from buyers particularly, I had a very clear expectation of what was about to happen. Endless qualification, name, e-mail address, postcode, current car, budget, finance, family, annual mileage, sexual preference and frequency…  my colleagues told me to expect an interrogation worthy of MI5 prior to being given the honour of actually seeing a car. Two ears and one mouth – thats how we were taught to sell in the early days, by listening. How things must have changed.   And brochures – taboo these days, it would be easier to walk out with a copy of the Codex Sinaiticus. So here was my challenge, get a sparkling glossy car brochure.

Dressed smartly and driving a high level sporty German saloon I decided to be as ‘authentic’ as possible and chose a BMW dealer, with the recently launched 8 series as my intended target.

Driving into the crowded car park reminded me of my early days in car sales, with the dreaded territory managers drilling into us the necessity of customer signage and parking spaces. Always a ball ache preparing for their inspection visits I immediately realised how right they were. Customer parking – where?

After a mini go kart circuit ride with the track perimeter made up of used car displays I eventually squeezed into an allocated customer slot, tight up against a Transit van and a freshly delivered 5 series straight off the transporter. Challenged to open my door buying cars with litecoinsufficiently, I squeezed out with mobile in one hand and keys in the other and strolled confidently towards the entrance, wondering how quickly I would be pounced on by the commission crazed pack.

One admission that I must make here. I was nervous. Yes, me, nervous. Not phased by public speaking, confident in any boardroom presentation and there I was feeling apprehensive.  Here we go…

The receptionists desk was impossible to pass without a greeting and I asked if I could have a look around. Certainly Sir, no problem.

What followed did surprise me though. The 8 series was the first car in the showroom so I easily did my own  6 step walk around. Sides, bonnet, boot, inside, all the obligatory sell cars with cryptoangles. The 2 sales execs sat at a single desk and ignored my presence with Shakespearean skill. Hmmmm. What next.

Craning to look inside, and mildly interested how a car the size of HMS Queen Elizabeth could fail to seat 4 of the worlds tiniest people, I walked to the sales desk asking if it was ok to have a sit inside. ‘Of course, help yourself”. So I did.

The mock crystal gear selector looked nice. The lack of traditional instruments didn’t but I am sure with battery life the whole thing would have resembled the bridge of the Enterprise. So I sat. And sat. And sat.

Theres only so much fiddling that one can do in a show car so I took the bull by the horns. I got out, had one more walk around then approached the 2 at the desk. ‘Do you have a brochure for this please’? ‘Yes, there is one left in the display I think’. She did actually get up and go check with me. Great effort there. Pretty girl. Pretty uninterested in me. I’m getting used to that now though. There was indeed just one brochure left. And I took it. TOO easy I thought.

So, trophy brochure in my hand I  strolled out to the comfort and familiarity of my almost impossible to find car and took literally 5 minutes reversing out of the tightened car slot after the arrival of a newly delivered car opposite.

So, what do I take from that? They viewed me as a waste of time? Well I am of the right age, build and car ownership demographic that should be their target. Perhaps they had sold their allocation already? Doubtful but good for them if so.

When I sold cars many years ago, regularly we were each selling and delivering 30+ cars per month. No one got past us. Also I personally was the ‘follow up king’ – only taking no buy car with etherfor an answer when abused or ignored on the sales phone calls that I would religiously make between 6 and 7pm. Yet I marched into a showroom, sat in a £75k car for ten minutes and was resoundingly ignored. Not a chance of bothering my inbox, let alone a follow up call. Bizarre.

Did I learn anything? Only that the 8 series is a great looking 2 seater with room in the back for tissue boxes only.  I will persevere though. Only fair to try another BMW showroom from a different dealer group. Surely sales processes haven’t changed so much in 25 years? If they have I’d love to pitch myself against these guys – just for a weekend.

Watch this space.

Author – David White –

Favourite Car – Porsche 911 Turbo S

Whats Your Favourite Car?

The first in a series talking to industry movers and shakers about their favourite cars.  Today John Graeme, Director of tells us what’s his favourite supercar, and why.

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John – pictured far right with David and Mo from

“Having been involved with supercars for over 20 years with Redline I guess that I am – by default, relatively well equipped to comment on the various crop of supercars currently available as well as some favourites over the years, and what it is about them that attracts me. Naturally, cars at this level are as much about personal choice and boyhood ambition. A Porsche buyer may be so dyed in the wool that he or she would not consider anything else.

So, getting to the point, my favourite is the  Porsche 911 Turbo S – and  here’s why.

Always a boyhood fantasy, the 911 Turbo was plastered across many kids bedroom walls. Perhaps a little of this has stuck with me. However the breath taking looks, spoilers, aero adornments and immense turbos promise something very special. A 7 speed PDK twin clutch gearbox sorts the 572bhp, 0-60 is 2.9 seconds (which Porsche say is conservative) and a license losing top speed of 205mph – well, we don’t go there do we…

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All the electronic goodies are in place to keep you safe. 4wd, active suspension management, Porsche dynamic chassis control and carbon ceramic brakes but, even knowing this, nothing can quite prepare you for what’s coming.


Settling into the sports seats and starting the engine excites every single time. Having driven a few miles in the ‘S’ to become acquainted with its ferocious power reserves, the first time I actually drove it with any urgency was a mind blowing experience. In the dry with all the electronic goodies turned on it’s almost impossible to break traction. Just a literally neck breaking acceleration with almost imperceptible redline gear changes, the Porsche pulls like a Saturn V rocket.

Nothing I have driven feels quite so fast. And with no turbo lag, screaming through the gears brings 70mph in an instant. Circuit driving (obviously) the car just blasts towards the horizon like nothing on earth. Yes, the first time you experience this raw acceleration you will (like me)  have a grin as wide as the Thames Estuary. However, hitting those ceramic brakes almost smashes your lungs into your ribcage. Mind blowing doesn’t come close to describing the acceleration and stopping power of this masterpiece.

Once you get used to that then  it’s time to start pushing round the corners. You would have to be almost suicidal to attempt to come anywhere near lit limits. Faster and faster around each corner, it just bites in deeper and drives the line that you input through the sexy little steering wheel.

So why this above everything else that I have driven? Mclaren, every Lambo since the Countach, Ferraris, you name it.

I think the best way to explain is that you don’t need to be Nigel Mansell to drive the Porsche 911 Turbo S fast. Throw the keys to your nearest and dearest and she can collect the jalfrezi. The back seats actually work, as in at a push you can carry passengers. The controls are all light and easy and you can hear the stereo. Its’ just the best of all worlds, an all-rounder that does everything perfectly. Screaming like a banshee when you’re in teen mode or surefooted in the snow taking the kids to school.

Perfect? Not quite but pretty damn close.



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

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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

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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.

AutoCoin Presenting at Autoplus18 London

AutoCoin 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?