Real estate transactions stand out as some of the most expensive and cumbersome purchases one can make so it comes as no surprise that the real estate industry has not been quick to embrace cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Nonetheless, a growing number of home sellers, property developers, and realtors have warmed to the idea of accepting crypto payments. They have begun to see it as a way to attract a larger pool of buyers, giving way to some notable first such transactions.
Needless to say as privacy and anonymity stand at the core of many crytocurrencies most buyers prefer to remain unknown, making it difficult to track closed transactions. What we do know is that the most trusted and accepted cryptocurrency for purchasing a property is Bitcoin. After doing quite a bit of research and detective work we’ve put together a round-up of all known homes sold using cryptocurrency.
Two-Bedroom Luxury Villa in Bali, Indonesia
In March 2014 ‘an early miner’ handed over more than 800 bitcoins (about $500,000 at the time) to buy a fully furnished two-bedroom luxury villa in Bali, Indonesia. The sale was finalized through the online bitcoin luxury marketplace BitPremier and the buyer has chosen to remain anonymous.
Suburban Home in Kansas City, Missouri
In May 2014 Josh Zerlan purchased a Kansas home using digital currency only. Zerlan had already bought two cars with bitcoins, but admitted he originally didn’t think about using them to buy a house. He didn’t know exactly how things would turn out so he just thought it seemed like a good test. The property was sold to him for half a million dollars worth of bitcoin.
Land purchase in North Lake Tahoe, California
In August 2014, with bitcoin’s value at approximately $580, a secret buyer contacted the realty arm of Martis Camp, a luxury real estate community in North Lake Tahoe, California. The buyer went on to close on the purchase of a 1.4-acre piece of land for 2,739 bitcoins (the equivalent of $1.6 million).
Two-Bedroom Condo in Miami
What was considered to be the first bitcoin-only real estate deal (all prior transactions occured after the cryptocurrencies had been converted to fiat) went down in December 2017 when Ivan “Paychecks” Pacheco, co-founder of cryptocurrency website Bits to Freedom, paid 17,741 Bitcoin, or the equivalent of $275,000, for a two-bedroom unit at 777 Northeast 62nd Street in Miami’s Upper East Side neighborhood.
Home in Carlsbad, California
Bitcoin hasn’t necessarily been used to cover the whole price of a property. For example a Redfin agent in San Diego reported that he helped a buyer cash out two bitcoins, valued then at $7,435 each, to cover closing costs for a home in Carlsbad, California.
Apartment in Kiev, Ukraine
The first time a real estate asset was bought with Ethereum digital currency was in September 2017 when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington purchased a $60,000 apartment in Kiev, Ukraine. This time the deal was handled via smart contracts and paid for in bitcoin-competitor Ether and erc-20 token PRO.
Luxury Homes in the UK
In December 2017, Go Homes developer sold two houses that were paid for entirely with Bitcoin. The first was a four-bedroom detached £350,000 family house in Colchester which was bought by a software developer in his 20s who intends on renting the property out in bitcoin.
The second property is a four-bedroom townhouse in Hertfordshire that was sold for £595,000 worth of bitcoin to another man in his 20s who became a bitcoin owner through mining and trading in online games.
Michael Komaransky made history by selling his house for the highest ever Bitcoin to Bitcoin transaction. Komaransky and the buyer (who remained anonymous) shared a similar mindset, that it is normal to make such big transactions using cryptocurrencies. The sale for the seven-bedroom home closed in February 2018 for 455 Bitcoins, worth approximately $6 million at that time.
Mansion of Chives, Los Gatos, San Francisco
Going from salesman to Bitcoin millionaire Guo Hongcai is one of the crypto heavyweights investing in real estate property abroad. Originally from China Hongcai bought the 100,000-square-foot Mansion of Chives back in April 2018 for 500 bitcoins, the equivalent of $2,199,000 at that time.
Hongcai is one of numerous cryptocurrency millionaires in China and has actively promoted investing in real estate through bitcoin.
Luxury apartments at ‘Aston Plaza Crypto’, Dubai
The ‘Aston Plaza Crypto’ is a complex comprising of two 33-story residential towers with unobstructed views of the Dubai Hills and city skyline, a three-story shopping mall, and many other amenities such as multiple pools, a gym, and an open-air cinema.
Developer Knox Group is marketing the studio, one, and two-bedroom units to the many newly minted Bitcoin millionaires. Prices range from $133,000, approximately 30 BTC, to $379,000, approximately 86 BTC, and the new owners can also use their cryptocurrency for interior design services and furniture. It is estimated that the units will be ready to be handed over to their new owners in April 2019.