Colin McRae’s long-lost rally car reportedly sold for Bitcoin at auction

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Bitcoin (BTC) adoption grows in the auction world, where privacy is a key concern. An anonymous buyer purchased a legendary rally car, driven by iconic rally figures Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz, that was thought to be long lost in an auction for half a million Australian dollars (US$360,000), and reportedly used Bitcoin as a payment method.

Australian auction house Lloyds Auctions announced that the 1994 Subaru Prodrive 555 Group A World Rally Championship Car had been found in a barn, covered in dust, in the Victoria state of Australia.

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The car originally thought to be valued at 15,000 to 20,000 Australian dollars ($10,900 to $14,500). But a 6-month investigation from the International Classic Automobile Authentication and Rating System (ICAARS) revealed that “it may well be worth more than $1 million [US$725,000].”

Lloyds said that the rally car, one of only 63 commissioned by Prodrive, was sitting in the barn for 10 years, and the owner was unaware of the vehicle’s actual value. It only had three owners since its racing days and was in untouched condition.

Touted as a “golden treasure” by an ICAARS inspector, the car went under the hammer on Sept. 26 and was auctioned for half a million Australian dollars. The winner was said to have paid the bid in Bitcoin.

Related: NFTs could mark a resurgence in art galleries

Lloyds announced in June that the Aussie auction house would start accepting crypto payments, enabling bidders to buy items auctioned on the platform with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

“As a longtime patron of Lloyds I had no hesitation and couldn’t believe how simple it was for me to pay with cryptocurrency,” a bidder then said, adding that the seller receives the payment in cash and “never know the difference.”

Beyond cryptocurrencies, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are also taking over the auction world by storm. Art galleries are adopting the new form of digital art as auctionable items. Sotheby auctioned Yuga Labs’ 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection in September with a winning bid of $24.39 million.