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First Tesla bought with Bitcoin. The future is here.

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Eric Risberg/AP/File

(Read caption) People walk past a Tesla Motors Model S electric sedan with Alcatraz Island in the background during a demonstration in October. A Tesla Model S was purchased entirely with Bitcoin in California.

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If you're not familiar with Bitcoin, you might want to change that. The electronic cryptocurrency is rapidly gaining acceptance around the globe, with many businesses--and even one university--accepting Bitcoins as readily as dollars. Now, a Tesla Model S has been purchased directly with Bitcoin.

The car, sold for an undisclosed sum of Bitcoin by Lamborghini Newport Beach in Costa Mesa, California, appears to have been a lightly used model, if only because it wasn't sold directly by Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].

Announced on the dealer's blog, the sale marks the first Bitcoin purchase for Lamborghini Newport Beach--but it won't likely be the last.

"Lamborghini Newport Beach is proud to announce that we are fully capable of accepting Bitcoin as legal tender for vehicles.  We are excited to opening the door to this new currency," the company wrote on its blog.

Bitcoins are generated by "mining," wherein computers execute mathematical operations to find the coins through a distributed, decentralized network. Depending on the user's available computer power, it can take anywhere from minutes to months to generate a single Bitcoin.

Currently, the Bitcoin-U.S. dollar exchange rate is about $1,013 per Bitcoin. At that rate, a new Tesla Model S would cost about 70-100 Bitcoins.

Despite a recent spate of battery fires due to road debris strikes, and an ongoing NHTSA investigation, the Tesla Model S continues to generate a great deal of interest among new-car buyers, particularly those nearer the cutting edge of technology--so perhaps it's unsurprising the American-made electric car should be among the first known vehicles purchased directly with Bitcoin.


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