Although it’s been around for nearly a decade, bitcoin has been buzzing all over the news recently as the average price of one bitcoin has risen from $1,000 at the start of 2017, to over $17,000 in early December. So it should come as no surprise that the acceptance of bitcoin is on the rise when it comes to purchasing real estate.
HOW IT WORKS
Bitcoin is an internet-based, decentralized payment system. Each user has an anonymous address, and you can trace every bitcoin’s transaction history. It uses blockchain technology, a database that co-exists in several locations and is shared by the community. “This structure makes it incredibly resilient because there is no central point of failure that can be attacked,” says Chris Merrett, bitcoin consultant at Meritorious Consulting. “If certain nodes of the network are attacked successfully, the other nodes in the network can adapt similarly to the human immune system adapting to a new virus.”
For the digital-minded buyer there are over a hundred opportunities to buy right now. Property search site Bitcoin Real Estate (BRE) feature houses, villas, and condos for sale in over 15 countries. Buyers can make purchases using cryptocurrencies ethereum and litecoin as well. For sellers services like BitPay, a global bitcoin payment provider, will convert bitcoins into dollars to complete the transaction. Bitcoin’s value fluctuates every day, so the risk is on the buyer’s side since the seller agrees to a fixed dollar amount and the number for bitcoins to equate the price can change from day to day. Much like looking for homes on Zillow or Realtor.com, BRE encourages buyers to consult professionals such as real estate agents and attorneys with experience in bitcoin purchases before digitally signing contracts or transferring any funds.