This is nuts. This is a number plate.

Private number plates in the UK are a bit like cryptocurrency issuance. There’s a strict alphanumeric protocol dictating how new numbers come into existence meaning there’s also, inadvertently, a theoretical cap on the number plates in circulation outside of the codes released for new registrations annually.

What this means is that you can’t adopt a private plate in the UK unless the number you want has already been minted in the past by the UK’s driver and vehicle licensing agency (DVLA). Though, if you want a certain plate and it’s never been issued before (and conforms with the allowed patterns), you can request for the DVLA to issue it at one of their auctions. But there’s no guarantee they will.

Luckily, for the discerning few who still get a kick from drawing attention to the cars they drive, there’s an active secondary market managed by the DVLA for recently retired plates.

Given the underlying scarcity of the number plate market, it clearly wasn’t going to be long before the bitcoin bull-run was going to make its presence known in the market.

And wouldn’t you know it? On Tuesday, the number plate “BTC 500X” sold for a smooth £51,510, or 1.6 bitcoin.

It’s by no means a record. The number plate “25 0” sold for £518,480 in 2014. While the number plate “XI” sold for £502,500 in November 2012. (Perhaps for the dear Chinese leader’s London car? Just speculating here.)

Nonetheless, it’s still a nice little indicator of just how much wealth has been generated in the recent crypto mega-run.

The question is, will the number plate end up on a Tesla?

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