Cryptocurrency is exploding in popularity this year. Not long after an acclaimed Bitcoin trader proclaimed that the flagship cryptocurrency would skyrocket in value, the global crypto market reached a value of $180 billion. While the pandemonium has tapered off (Bitcoin’s value has been a bit of a roller coaster in recent weeks), that hasn’t stopped digital currencies from making headlines. doc.ai recently raised $2.3 million in their pre-ICO alone.
Besides news inside its own industry, cryptocurrency continues to permeate into other facets of life. Recently, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty sold off a home in Texas. The buyer solely used Bitcoin to pay for the property. It marks the first-ever sale of real estate using just Bitcoin.
The Fine Print
While the price of the home and other smaller details weren’t revealed, we do know that only Bitcoin was used in the transaction. The buyer transferred their cryptocurrency to the realty office, who then converted it into U.S. dollars at the real-time exchange price.
The home’s price and other details were negotiated and finalized during mid-summer. It’s located in Austin, and is newly built and customized fully to the buyer’s specifications. It has luxurious entertaining areas, a chef’s kitchen, a lavish master suite, and a beautiful, landscaped backyard.
Principal Broker of Kuper Sotheby’s, J Kuper, is really excited about the sale. “I’m always impressed by the brilliant work our associates do to service their clients’ unique situations,” he says. “As Austin matures into becoming the United States’ next technology metropolis, our associates at Kuper Sotheby’s keep at the forefront of new trends and Sheryl [Lowe, the Texas real estate buyer’s agent,] demonstrates this in stellar fashion. Her ability to facilitate this sale is no better proof of that.”
A Growing Movement
Bitcoin’s tumultuous past may leave many scratching their heads at these new types of transaction. However, Bitcoin’s increasing popularity and adoption across the world, especially in China, have pushed it to the forefront of currency. Fiat (or government, standard) currency is becoming increasingly put into cryptocurrency as an investment. The Bitcoin market is outperforming the traditional stock market. The market value surge created many multi-millionaires before it dropped back down from its all-time high.
While it may seem strange to some, it’s not that unusual to see Bitcoin being used to pay for coffee, video games, and other small purchases. And while this is the first time that Bitcoin was used to completely pay for a home, it’s far from the first big purchase that utilized cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin was used to partially pay for a long-term lease on a $500k villa in Indonesia in 2014. This trumped a previous Bitcoin purchase of Tesla Model S, then priced at $103,000. But these purchases as well as this recent real estate deal pale in comparison to a $147 million Bitstamp audit transaction.
Many real estate owners have made it known that they’re willing to accept Bitcoin for the purchase of their property. Rich cryptocurrency enthusiasts can also charter or even buy their own airplane using Bitcoin. The digital currency has indeed come a long way. It was not so long ago when famous coder Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas with 10,000 Bitcoins. At Bitcoin’s all-time high, that would be more than $40 million!
From the Shadows of the Internet to the Mainstream
Sheryl Lowe says, “In all of my 33 years of closing transactions, I honestly couldn’t have expected something so unique to go so smoothly. In a matter of 10 minutes, the bitcoin was changed to U.S. dollars and the deal was done!”
This transaction completed so seamlessly that the sentiment that Bitcoin is “a fraud” is losing traction quickly. In fact, Bitcoin is becoming so mainstream that governments are looking into issuing their own cryptocurrencies. Which of course is contradictory to the guiding principle of cryptocurrencies to be decentralized and free from institutional control.
Looking to get into cryptocurrency? Check out our comparison of five of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. We review the positive and negative nuances so you can make a more informed choice about which exchange to use. Whether you want to use Coinbase because of its sleek mobile app, Bitfinex because of its focus on Bitcoin, or Bittrex because of its large array of currencies, we’ve got you covered.