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Dubai property venture with homes to buy using bitcoin

The Knox Group of Companies, with headquarters in the Isle of Man, announced late on Tuesday it will launch a residential and commercial property development in Dubai valued at £250 million (Dh1.19 billion), with residences that can be purchased in the digital currency bitcoin.

The company said the 2.4 million-square-foot property venture called Aston Plaza and Residences, consisting of two residential towers and a shopping mall, will be the first major real estate development that will accept bitcoin as payment.

The Dubai project is one step toward efforts to push bitcoin into the mainstream. Maligned and ridiculed in its early days, bitcoin hit a record high of US$4,870 on Friday, surging more than 400 per cent so far this year.

The whole project is expected to be completed by late 2019.

“This a great opportunity for the cryptocurrency community to offload some of its significant gains, especially the early adopters, and actually deploy them in hard-core assets which I’m building,” said Knox’s chairman, Doug Barrowman.

Mr Barrowman, originally from Scotland, in 2008 founded Knox, which engages in private equity, property and wealth management. The company manages £1.5bn in assets, he said.

To read full article:

https://www.thenational.ae/business/dubai-property-venture-with-homes-to-buy-using-bitcoin-1.625987

 

Tips for buying a house with bitcoin

Bitcoin took a wild ride in 2017, reaching a record high above $19,800 in December and then plummeting below $11,000 in the same month.

The cryptocurrency isn’t just a risky investment opportunity for the adventurous; it’s becoming an alternative way of paying for regular things. Over 100,000 merchants worldwide accept bitcoin, including Microsoft, Expedia and at least one Subway sandwich shop.

You can also buy a house with bitcoin, and it’s not as hard as you may think. You just need one thing: For the buyer and seller to agree on exchanging bitcoin for the property.

 

Consider the first single-family home sale in Texas involving bitcoin, announced in 2017: “The challenge, which actually wasn’t all that challenging, was to figure out who would do an exchange that large,” J Kuper, broker at Kuper Sotheby’s International, told CNBC’s Diana Olick.

The parties involved completed the transaction with BitPay, which turns bitcoin into dollars, because the seller wanted U.S. dollars, Olick reports. BitPay has handled other real estate transactions, including a Lake Tahoe property that sold in 2014 for 2,739 bitcoins, or $1.6 million.

 

Bitcoin took a wild ride in 2017, reaching a record high above $19,800 in December and then plummeting below $11,000 in the same month.

The cryptocurrency isn’t just a risky investment opportunity for the adventurous; it’s becoming an alternative way of paying for regular things. Over 100,000 merchants worldwide accept bitcoin, including Microsoft, Expedia and at least one Subway sandwich shop.

You can also buy a house with bitcoin, and it’s not as hard as you may think. You just need one thing: For the buyer and seller to agree on exchanging bitcoin for the property.

Consider the first single-family home sale in Texas involving bitcoin, announced in 2017: “The challenge, which actually wasn’t all that challenging, was to figure out who would do an exchange that large,” J Kuper, broker at Kuper Sotheby’s International, told CNBC’s Diana Olick.

The parties involved completed the transaction with BitPay, which turns bitcoin into dollars, because the seller wanted U.S. dollars, Olick reports. BitPay has handled other real estate transactions, including a Lake Tahoe property that sold in 2014 for 2,739 bitcoins, or $1.6 million.

Buy a home with bitcoin? Here’s how one buyer did it

For one real estate owner and developer in Manhattan, BitPay won’t be necessary. Benjamin Shaoul of Magnum Real Estate Group says he has buyers who want to pay with bitcoin, and he plans on keeping it.

“I think it will become a long-term means to make payment,” Shaoul told Olick.

Sites like Open Listings are making it easier to find properties you can purchase with bitcoin with a search tool that allows you to look for the words “bitcoin” or “ethereum.”

All the same, since the idea of using virtual currency to purchase real estate is so new, there is a “still a lot of nervousness for newcomers to the currency,” Olick reports, adding “much of the concern may be around the lack of regulation so far in cryptocurrency and the lack of understanding as to how gains in bitcoin are taxed.”

Some experts warn that buying real estate with bitcoin won’t be simple in every case. As Open Listing notes, “Even if you are able to find a seller that’s willing to accept your offer in bitcoin, it can be tricky to find title insurance and escrow companies who feel comfortable handling virtual currency transactions. To take on your home purchase, they may require you to cash out your bitcoin so that your transaction can be treated more like a traditional house purchase.”

But at the end of the day, if you want to buy a house with bitcoin, there are ways to make it work.