Brokers

yacht brokers selling superyachts through BitPay

Written by Alexander Griffiths

Cryptocurrencies have become even more present in the yachting world, with a number of leading brokerage houses accepting these types of payments to buy and charter yachts. While the uptake has been gradual, the recent surge highlights that this hesitancy hasn’t come from resistance. Monaco Yacht Show 2021Photo: imagINEven amidst the great crypto crash, many brokerage firms are adding these payment types to their portfolios – this trend highlights an expectation that crypto will bounce back. The most recent being the Monaco-based Yachtzoo, which, like many others, has partnered up with the global bitcoin service provider BitPay. BitPay enables instantaneous borderless payments with many leading cryptocoins. The blockchain payment processing that it employs is said to “eliminate transaction fraud”.

Darrell Hall, Founding Partner of Yachtzoo, spoke out about this partnership: “As a leading yacht brokerage, we are always looking at innovative solutions to enhance our customers’ experience. Our job as a luxury yacht brokerage is to make chartering, selling, or acquiring a yacht as flawless as possible. Our partnership with BitPay is another way we make it as easy as possible for our customers.” 

Camper & Nicholsons, a brokerage house synonymous with tradition, made the plunge early last month. The move is a strategic one for the 240-year-old company, as it’s looking to attract new clientele by tapping into the “massive crypto marketplace”. Monaco Yacht Show 2021Photo: imagIN“Camper & Nicholsons realises the potential for crypto to transform the yachting industry, making payments faster, more secure, and less expensive on a global scale,” said Merrick Theobald, Vice President of Marketing at BitPay. “With the total market cap of crypto approaching $2 trillion, Camper & Nicholsons is also now well-positioned to take advantage of this wealth by helping those crypto holders who are looking to purchase luxury items like yacht sales and yacht charters.” 

Read: Crypto-mania: Superyacht Vianne offered in Crypto and NFTs

The US-based brokerage firm Denison Yachting was the first to test the waters, pioneering cryptocurrencies as a payment method in 2014. I spoke with Bob Denison last November and he shared that Denison has sold 17 yachts through bitcoin, and is expected to round the figure to 20 sales by the end of 2021. Rather than just accepting wallet-to-wallet payments as most brokerage houses do now, Denison also has eight bitcoin miners in-house. Denison Yachting: Bitcoin miners“We need to be present and available to all potential clients in all marketplaces, and if a client wants to pay with Bitcoin, we are positioned to handle the transaction,” Bob Denison said.

Read: Superyacht brokerage & bitcoin: Is the trend here to stay?

Another firm that recently raised the crypto flag is SuperYachtsMonaco. BitPay has once again been the choice partnership, and SuperYachtsMonaco has capitalised on this venture by selling the 40.2-metre Benetti motor yacht Oryx using BitPay.

Read: 40m Benetti Oryx sold for €9.9m with cryptocurrencyOryx yacht at anchorAt the time of her sale, Juan Andrade, Broker at SuperYachtsMonaco commented, “The ability to accept cryptocurrency enables SuperYachtsMonaco to attract new customers and sales by tapping the massive crypto marketplace. BitPay manages the entire process and makes it easy to receive crypto from the customer and adapt their approach to each client’s personal situation.”

Read: 72m superyacht Azteca, listed for sale in cryptocurrency, has been sold

What makes the crypto market so interesting is not its volatility – which is undoubtedly making many sweat profusely at the moment  – but how it’s created a great deal of “new money”. This is interesting for our industry as this is a new demographic with money to spend and, as this swathe of partnerships with BitPay attests, has an interest in yachting. It’s too early to tell whether we’ll see a major impact like we did around the turn of the millennium and the great US tech boom. Camper & Nicholsons subtly paid tribute to this great age as they announced its partnership with BitPay; heading its statement with a photograph of one of the legends from that age: Lürssen’s 126m superyacht Octopus, which was formerly owned by the late Microsoft co-owner, Paul Allen. Octopus yacht cruisingThe crypto market is yet to filter to new-builds like the first tech boom did. I spoke with Albert Hakvoort of Royal Hakvoort Shipyard last week to check whether this demographic has started placing orders for full-custom yachts yet. “Not yet,” Hakvoort said. “In a few years once they become a little more experienced they may start looking to develop a custom yacht.” 

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