A British car classifieds site has started accepting advertisements listed in bitcoin, becoming the first such site to do so in the UK. In December, Auto4You began giving sellers the option of listing a car for sale with a bitcoin price instead of in pound sterling.
Khalid Akram, the site's founder explained:
"One of the biggest challenges [bitcoin] faces in the UK is liquidity and places to spend it. We need to get the currency to flow within the community. Every time a new vendor starts accepting bitcoin it further legitimises the currency in people's minds."
No one has listed a car for sale in bitcoin yet, although Akram said he would personally be listing a used Honda for sale in the cryptocurrency. Akram described himself as a bitcoin "evangelist" and said that introducing the feature on his site was a way of helping the bitcoin community.
Akram started Auto4You in 1999. The site has between 150 and 800 listings on it any one time and attracts 400 to 500 unique visitors a day, he said.
The site doesn't charge users for advertising a motor for sale. However, users have the option of paying £5 for a 'premium' advertisement that will allow their ad to appear on the site's front page.
Akram said he planned to make Auto4You the UK's biggest auto classifieds site. The segment is currently dominated by Auto Trader which controls more than 40% of the market and attracts about 11 million unique visitors a month to its more than 400,000 listings.
Auto Trader is a lucrative business that is owned by Trader Media Group, which is jointly owned by private equity firm Apax Partners and media conglomerate Guardian Media Group.
Trader Media Group was valued at about £2 billion by bankers during a scuppered attempt by Apax to buy the Guardian's share of the business earlier this year.
"We have a huge amount of catching up to do. It's certainly a big task," Akram said.