If you are regular reader of LLM – Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, you will know that we hold the world of cryptocurrency in high esteem – and that’s in the usual climate.
However, now deep into the coronavirus global pandemic, it appears that holding Bitcoin is an even bigger blessing. The current troubles have led to the UK’s fiat currency, Pound Sterling (GBP), to fall below $1.15 for the first time since the 1980’s – and, despite Chancellor of the Exchequer’s impressive efforts to bolster the economy, we are yet to experience the nadir of the financial impact.
Since the beginning of March, (GBP) has fallen 8% against both the Euro and the US Dollar. And Bitcoin? Well, it’s up 12.5% this week. For more information on how to get your slice of the action, visit the-bitcoin-evolution.com.
So, if you’re one of the few who had the foresight to diversify your assets and want to cash in, where do you spend it? In our view, it’s a good time to invest in property. Even better, there are a number of emerging methods to purchase luxury properties straight from your Coinbase account.
Property investment with cryptocurrency has largely been embraced by a new generation of moneyed fintech entrepreneurs. The result is that many of your traditional picket sign neighbourhood estate agents have been a little hesitant to dip their toe in the water.
Breaking new ground
That said, cryptocurrency real estate transactions have been a thing for a few years now. According to reports, the very first luxury home to be purchased using Bitcoin occurred in Colchester, Essex, in December 2017. Developer Go Homes sold a £350,000 valued detached home to an unnamed software developer in his twenties. According to the agents, the owner then proceeded to rent it out in Bitcoin, too.
The second Bitcoin sale in the UK, a £595,000 four-bed town house in Hertfordshire, was also sold through Go Homes, a proponent of cryptocurrency transactions for a number of reasons.
“This re-writes the rule book and shows there is another way to sell property,” Ed Casson, group sales director of Go Homes told the Telegraph. Selling homes for Bitcoin will become common in the next five years.
“Our industry has largely remained unchanged in terms of innovation in the last 50 years. We are taking an opportunity to embrace this technology.”
In the same year, the US also saw its first real estate purchase with Bitcoin in Austin, Texas. However, the seller did immediately convert the Bitcoin into fiat currency.
As the mass housing market began to evidence that cryptocurrency was a legitimate means of buying a home, the luxury developers immediately got in on the action.
In the same year as those first house transactions were recorded, British entrepreneurs Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman launched a £250m high-end development in Dubai, where every unit was made available to Bitcoin holders at source.
Existing luxury property began to pop up on the market, too. American hedge fund manager Roy Niederhoffer placed his $16m-valued upper-west-side New York City mansion for sale in 2018, stating that we would rather receive Bitcoin. So much so, he would actually swallow the transaction fees on behalf of the buyer in fiat currency, allowing him to retain as much of the sale in Bitcoin as he could.
Stories like these have popped up consistently ever since, with luxury homeowners from Westport, Connecticut, to Montenegro looking to trade their luxury properties for a slice of the cryptocurrency game.
Right here, right now
But where do you go if you are looking to purchase a luxury property right now, with Bitcoin? Given the anarchic nature of cryptocurrency in general, it is not as simple as popping into your local estate agents and ringing a bell, you’ll have to be savvy. As a Bitcoin holder, that should not be beyond you, of course.
Currently, in the UK and Northern Ireland, a handful of estate agents currently accept Bitcoin in principle, or have measures to broker a cryptocurrency deal. These include Go Homes, The Collective, Agape Properties, Hagan Homes and Munday’s Estate Agents. Aggregator Rightmove accepts property listings on Bitcoin in principle.
In the United States, Magnum Real Estate Group stands out as the lead luxury home broker, and the company specialises in cryptocurrency transactions.
The company that has made the biggest development steps to push Bitcoin transactions forward, though, is Propy.com. An all-in-one property brokerage platform, Propy utilises blockchain technology for secure real estate transactions online. As one of its many options, the company will broker any home transaction with cryptocurrency, if agreed by both the buyer and seller.
Investing in cryptocurrencies carries risk, do so at your own risk and we advise people to never invest more money than they can afford to lose and to seek professional advice before doing so.