Online trading site Gumtree has seen an increase in swops and bitcoin-only sales.
Claire Cobbledick, head of core at Gumtree, comments: “This is particularly true for high-value items like cars, bikes and boats. Many sellers are willing to take a gamble with their assets in hopes of a large pay-out.”
In this respect, South Africa is following trends seen on other marketplaces around the world. In the US, a McLaren 720S was put up for sale in exchange for 25 bitcoin, a theoretical value of $425 000, Cobbledick says.
While Gumtree does not allow for the sale of bitcoin miners or services, she says that customers can exchange goods for bitcoin on the site — but they should be fully aware of the risks.
“Bitcoin is a volatile currency so, while you could easily see a 50% increase in your investment, you could just as easily end up with nothing. It’s up to the seller to decide if they are willing and able to take a gamble.”
Some of the cars listed on Gumtree as for sale in exchange for bitcoin includes a Land Rover Defender, BMW X5 and a rare 1970 Mercury Cougar V8.
“There are also a few other sellers accepting bitcoin in exchange for Kruger rands,” says Cobbledick.
Perhaps the most unusual swop is from an entrepreneurial seller who is offering carnivorous plants in exchange for the cryptocurrency.