PETALING JAYA: Proton has suspended the dealership in Seri Kembangan that has been accepting cyprtocurrency as payment. The auto company said it did not recognise the Bitcoin and ethereum payment method and was suspending the operations of the dealer for further investigations. "While we encourage innovative ways to increase sales, promotional activities must adhere to its guidelines and be endorsed by the major shareholder of the car manufacturer. In order for us to pick up our sales numbers, we shall be taking further steps for more attractive consumer campaigns, and improvement of product and service quality," Proton vice-president of sales and marketing Abdul Rashid Musa said. In separate statement, Proton said it recorded 70,991 in sales last year compared with 72,291 units sold in 2016 and attributed the sales decline to lower demand from the taxi industry. Tony Yeu, who owns Anjur Kayangan Auto Sdn Bhd, told theSun that has since he started accepting Bitcoin and ethereum as a payment method, there has been an increase in the number of prospective customers. "Before this, business was not doing too well. I needed a way to attract more customers and I didn't want to offer free gifts or discounts as it will jeopardise the market. Bitcoin is not illegal and this is just a payment method we offer our customers. The sum for either a down payment or total amount will be transferred to my personal Bitcoin account. Once the payment is in, a receipt will be issued. To Proton I will forward the amount in cash," he told theSun "I put the banner up last Thursday night and since the next day there was an increase in number of inquiries. Daily there are more than 10 people who will walk in, even the number of calls that we have received being interested to purchase using Bitcoin has increased. "This is just a payment method that we offer our customers. The sum for either a down payment or total amount will be transferred to my personal Bitcoin account. Once the payment is in, a receipt will be issued. To Proton I will forward the amount in cash." Yeu said business was lagging before this, and in a month there would be about 10 sales only. There was no response from Proton when contacted by theSun. At the time of writing on Sunday at 4:25pm, 1 Bitcoin equals to RM66,974.96.