Buyers broke numerous cryptocurrency records in 2021, and 2022 looks bright.
“There is an upward trend of people using digital assets to buy luxury goods,” says Max Dilendorf, partner, Dilendorf Law Firm, who specializes in structuring real estate transactions using cryptocurrencies. “We represent a lot of clients in these transactions as lawyers and escrow agents.”
While Dilendorf recognizes that some sellers may be hesitant to take bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies by virtue of how new they are, “by accepting bitcoin for real estate or any other luxury good, you increase your chance of selling,” he says.
In May, a Miami penthouse made headlines when it sold for the equivalent of US$22.5 million in cryptocurrency. In September, the property hit the market again with some renovations and a US$28 million price tag. Again, the realtors would accept cryptocurrency. But one reason this particular deal made headlines is that at the moment, it’s rare.
In Bucharest, Monica Barbu, CEO, Romania Sotheby’s International Realty, is representing a seller who will accept cryptocurrency for the sale of a pop art–themed penthouse. It’s the first luxury property in their office to be made available for purchase by bitcoin, she says.
Barbu says the seller may consider other forms of cryptocurrency, but the preference is bitcoin, since the seller is invested in it already.
In New York City, the seller of a limestone mansion located half a block away from Central Park will accept cryptocurrency. Cathy Taub, senior global real estate advisor, Sotheby’s International Realty–East Side Manhattan Brokerage, represents the seller and said it wouldn’t be the first time her clients have dealt in cryptocurrency.
“Generally, in my experience, sellers who accept crypto think of bitcoin and certain other crypto as digital gold. They have a concern about inflation eating away at their fiat cash,” Taub says. “Given the immense global interest in crypto, there’s no doubt in my mind that it will become increasingly popular as ‘consideration’ for real estate.”