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In Australia, bitcoins can be used to buy a car

Posting in Finance

Customers in the market for a Tomcar—the beefy all-terrain vehicle used by the military as well as tourism and mining industries—can now use bitcoins to make their purchase.

Tomcar Australia, a Melbourne-based startup, says it's now accepting the global digital currency through a partnership with bitcoin payments provider CoinJar. Customers using Tomcar Australia's online store select bitcoin as a payment method and the transaction goes through CoinJar's payment Gateway.

David Brim, co-founder and CEO of Tomcar Australia, says the company supports the bitcoin economy because it allows overseas transactions with fewer fees and exchange rate fluctuations.

"Bitcoin helps us reduce the inherent costs involved in international trade," said Brim, who believes the auto industry needs systematic change.

Tomcar Australia already uses Bitcoin to pay a number of overseas suppliers. It's manufacturing partner, MTM is looking into using Bitcoin.

Some merchants and startup companies have either started or are considering accepting bitcoins, signaling a shift in corporate and consumer thinking. While the digital currency isn't well understood some entrepreneurs see Bitcoin as a means to offer customers lower payment processing and secure transactions.

For example, John Donahoe, the president of eBay, said PayPal could one day incorporate Bitcoin and online dating site OkCupid already does.

Still, Bitcoin faces numerous obstacles before it's widely adopted by the mainstream. The digital currency is volatile and has experienced wild price fluctuations. And it's associated with Silk Road, an online black market that was shutdown by the FBI in October 2013.

Photo: Tomcar Australia

— By on November 5, 2013, 8:12 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure