Bitcoin, Litecoin and a gazillion other ‘coins’ are names of new digital currencies. There are already over 1,300 different types of these currencies and coins out there. Hundreds more are in the process of being launched right now. The easiest way to think of this is as a digital currency that you never touch or hold. Like money in your PayPal account that you transfer, but never touch and feel, tokens in your favorite video game or cash reward points on a credit credit. You can earn it, transfer it, and spend it, but it is all virtual.
Cryptocurrency has been increasingly making its way into real estate transactions in various ways.
One of the most visible ways that bitcoin has been showing up in real estate is through home listings. A number of sellers and agents have been using this tactic to create more buzz and attention for their properties. Some sellers have insisted on all bitcoin. Others have asked for payments split between US dollars and bitcoins. This may work well for high end house listings where the most likely buyers may have and want to use their bitcoins for real estate. This appears to be an increasing trend as many have enjoyed big wins in cryptocurrency and are looking for a way to balance that and preserve their gains by converting it into tangible real estate assets.
Expedia.com has been increasingly taking on Airbnb style vacation rental listings. The massive travel booking site also accepts bitcoins. For many this may be an increasingly popular way to lease and rent. Especially with more individuals holding small amounts of cryptocurrency, and a larger percentage of the population adopting a more nomadic lifestyle.
There are also physical cryptocurrency exchange offices and stores. More of these may be franchised and pop up in order to increase traction in the market, and build trust with those slow to adopt the currency or who want to do business in person, offline. For owners and operators of these commercial properties, cryptocurrency could become a real estate business much in the way that McDonalds is.
One of the most popular ways entrepreneurs are trying to incorporate digital currencies into real estate transactions today is by creating new currencies and tokens for buying, renting, trading, and investing in real estate, without having to conduct a traditional transaction. This is more like buying shares in a company which may own real estate.
There are many potential benefits and uses for cryptocurrency in real estate, including:
There are also many risks and dangers of getting involved with cryptocurrencies:
Cryptocurrency has been hot. Despite recent issues with crazy value fluctuations people still believe in it, and that it is the future. Digital currencies have many applications in real estate, with many potential benefits for promoters, investors, individual buyers, sellers, renters and the market itself.
Still, individuals and business do need to be careful, but it will be exciting to see what is coming next, and what works, even though it is unlikely to be a smooth ride.
It’s perfect for ICO promoters looking for inventory and deal flow for their platforms. As well as for individuals still sticking to a more traditional and proven method of buying property, but who still wants to save big when they buy and sell.
For now, the average individual who both wants to buy a home and participate in bitcoin may find it is better to keep these two investments separate. Buy your home, and take a little cash and buy a part of a bitcoin for a few hundred dollars. Then you won’t feel as if you missed out, but aren’t risking your home and entire investment portfolio on virtual money either. If your bitcoin blossoms, then use your gains to pay down your home mortgage, or buy investment properties. If you are feeling more adventurous, then get out there and test the waters with different currency options. Just don’t put in more than you can afford to lose.
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