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Buying bushplanes with BitcoinBuying bushplanes with Bitcoin

It’s official: Cryptocurrencies are in a “bear” market.

CubCrafters Carbon Cub photo courtesy of CubCrafters.

But hold on—that’s not a year-end analysis of the red-hot tug of war between digital currency hedgers and speculators, or a financial forecast for 2018.

Over here in the general aviation sector, it is now possible to buy a modernized rendition of a classic taildragger that famously uses a bear for its brand identity—and you can pay for the aircraft with Bitcoin or one of the other so-called cryptocurrencies that allow person-to-person digital payments without the transaction passing through a traditional financial institution.

On Dec. 28, CubCrafters of Yakima, Washington, which for more than 35 years has focused on “advancing” the Piper Super Cub design with modern engineering methods, announced that it now accepts Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a payment method for new and pre-owned aircraft, and aircraft kits.

Jim Richmond, the company’s founder, said the move “supports progressive technologies and the international entrepreneur communities who use them.”

"Our intent is to support our buyers’ payment preferences," he said. "Technology is changing the way we design and build airplanes, and it is changing the way we do business. As far as I know, we are the only airplane manufacturer that accepts cryptocurrencies. They are a viable payment vehicle and as a market leader we want to continue to lead from the front."

CubCrafters customers who choose to pay with a cryptocurrency will receive payment instructions from the manufacturer, the announcement noted, adding that “buyers can make payments from anywhere in the world.”

The announcement from CubCrafters is the latest example of how Bitcoin and its peers made news in 2017, a year that saw wide swings in cryptocurrency values; the introduction of cryptocurrency futures trading in December; and growing public awareness of the Blockchain technology that does the digital bookkeeping for Bitcoin transactions—all generating vigorous debate in the financial news media about whether cryptocurrencies are a fad that’s produced a speculative “bubble,” or an industry-disrupting technology on the verge of finding its mainstream niche, as the Super Cub did following its introduction in 1949.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Taildragger, Financial

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