A Real Estate Game-Changer: Cryptocurrency
From buying coffee, to booking vacations and even purchasing homes, one cannot help but notice the growing adoption of digital currency (called cryptocurrency) in purchasing goods and services. This past August, our team at Oppenheim Law proudly announced that we began accepting cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, as payments for our professional services. The use of cryptocurrency, driven mainly by the popular Bitcoin, is also growing in the real estate market. There are even websites that cater exclusively to the sale and purchase of property using Bitcoin. The Miami New Times recently reported that a listing in Coral Gables, FL priced at $6.4 million, can be purchased using Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
How Do Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Work?
Bitcoin is one of many cryptocurrencies that use blockchain technology, an online ledger that is decentralized and contains all of the transactions that have been executed on the platform. There is no physical component to this type of currency and the “coins” are stored in a specific online or offline wallet for sending and receiving transactions. The availability of anonymous transactions, overall value appreciation, and a fast and cheap international payment method (compared to credit cards and wires), has led to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies becoming increasingly mainstream.
A New Norm for Future Real Estate Transactions and Services
The future of cryptocurrency as a part of the real estate market is described by Realtor Magazine as “not so much a question of ‘if’ as it is ‘how and when’”. The real estate industry would be able to utilize blockchain technology which provides a secure and instantly verifiable public record. A group known as the International Blockchain Real Estate Association (IBREA) is already working on its own platform to transform mortgage and title insurance transactions as we know them. So, when it comes to real estate transactions, although the use of cryptocurrency may for now be a “man bites dog” kind of story, we could be looking at a new norm in the not-so-distant future.
From the trenches,