The price of a bitcoin is a fickle thing. It rises and falls like the tides...at least, if the sea were controlled not by the steady tug of the moon's gravity but by the mysterious invisible (or at least translucent) hand of a free market made up largely of tech-savvy investor-nerds and anti-establishment libertarians.
While the decentralized blockchain-based currency started out small more than a decade ago, when its first known transaction was using 10,000 of them to buy a pair of Papa John's pizzas, it then rose past $1,000 in 2013, fell back below that in 2014, climbed past its old high of $1,242 in early 2017 before shooting up to nearly $20,000 by the end of the year, fell back down below $3,300 roughly 12 months after that, rocketed back up in 2019 and early 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic's initial market shock brought the value down again, then began a climb back to a new high of $19,850 by the end of November.
Then it took off like a rocket, climbing to $60,000 over the next five months or so, largely on the back of Elon Musk's decision to allow Tesla to accept bitcoin as a form of payment. Come May 2021, though, bitcoin dropped like a stone again, falling to around $30,000 as Musk retracted his decision and announced Tesla would sell off its bitcoin holdings around the same time the Chinese government announced it would crack down on cryptocurrencies.
Musk has since retracted his retraction and declared Tesla will take bitcoin again once there's proof the currency is being ethically mined (in other words, that clean electricity is being used to run the computers doing the energy-intensive work of making new bitcoins), but so far, the price hasn't rebounded all that much. As of this story's writing, a bitcoin is worth just a hair under $32,000.
Now, admittedly, if you bought a bunch of bitcoin back when they were a few dollars apiece, that price would still be more than enough to allow you into the ranks of the Lamborghini bitcoin crew. But for the purposes of this story, we're simply looking at what sort of cool metal you could buy if you had but a single bitcoin to sell. As the price of a bitcoin changes, we'll update this story accordingly — but for now, here in the summer of 2021, here's what sorts of cars you could buy for roughly the $32,000 a bitcoin is worth.
Granted, for $32K, you won't be able to get a lot of new Bronco; as we found out during our first drive of the Ford's new iconic off-roader, the options add up fast. But if you're cool with a two-door model with the base engine and a stick shift and can live without many fancy features, you can drive away in a 2021 Ford Bronco for $30,640 including destination. (Granted, you may have to wait a while for it, as there's still an order book around 200,000 strong.)
Okay, at $32,250 before destination, the Hyundai Veloster N sits on the very edge of our bitcoin purchasing power as of July 2021. Still, even if you have to fork over a few dollars from your Robinhood account on top of your bitcoin bucks, it's worth it, considering the 275-hp Veloster N is about as much fun as you can buy for that amount — and comes fully loaded for that price, so long as you don't mind a six-speed stick instead of a dual-clutch gearbox. (We certainly don't.)
Much like its competitor, the Ford Bronco, you can slide into a Jeep Wrangler for the price of a bitcoin, but only if you're willing to live with few options. The Willys Sport costs $32,640 with destination...but without air conditioning, which will run you $1,295 more. Still, who needs A/C when you can ditch the roof, the doors and the windshield?
Have you heard? There's a new Honda Civic, which takes all the great parts of the previous model — the space, the efficiency, the unexpected fun-to-drive factor — and builds on that with a far more elegant design both inside and out. The top-shelf Touring model is practically an entry-level luxury car, and it costs just $29,315 even after destination.
The tastiest Tacos like the TRD off-road variants may be just out of reach at this price point, but your bitcoin can still buy you a Tacoma in the mid-level SR5 trim. You'll have to choose whether you want four-wheel-drive or the V6's added power, because you can't have both at this price, and you'll have to live with the six-foot-bed / Access Cab version, but hey, it'll still be a Tacoma at the end of the day.
Kia's new compact SUV is a spectacular car for the money, and with one bitcoin worth of it, you can have the best: the SX Turbo model, which comes with all the bells and whistles. So equipped, even with destination, you'll be spending $29,165. And if a compact crossover feels a little too basic for you, why not go for the SX Plum Color Package and add purple interior trim?
There's a whole new Subaru WRX / STI generation coming soon, but the outgoing model that precedes the 2022 WRX certainly isn't worthy of scorn. If power and playfulness matters more to you than fancy interiors and features, you won't regret opting for this turbocharged 268-hp compact. If you want to be careful with your bitcoin money, the Premium trim has everything you really need — Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, heated seats, power moonroof and more – for $30,970 including destination; or, for $2,050 more, you can have the Limited and gain leather trim and LED headlights.
Sure, of course, you could buy a Mazda MX-5 Miata for the price of a bitcoin; in fact, you could buy a very nice Miata, one with leather seats and a Bose stereo and that purdy Soul Red Metallic paint job. But for most of us, we need a tad more usability. Enter the turbo version of the CX-30 crossover — effectively a slightly taller, easier-to-enter version of the Mazda 3 Turbo hatchback, with ample zoom-zoom and an elegant design that looks worth way more than the Turbo AWD's $31,225 base price.
The results may surprise you.