HousingWire has been on the forefront of covering Bitcoin in relation to real estate.
The March issue of our print magazine includes a story on the first real estate and real estate financial firms in North America to accept Bitcoin for everything from broker fees to actual investment.
The watershed moment for real estate may have come in early February, when the nascent startup RealtyShares in San Francisco announced it would be the first, as far as anyone can know, real estate investment firm to accept Bitcoin for its crowdfunding real estate investment platform.
Now comes word from Southeast Asia that the first major Bitcoin real estate transaction – valued at more than $500,000 – has closed. The property? A fully managed villa at the deLMango Villa Estate in Bali, Indonesia.
Notably, this may be the largest reported Bitcoin transaction yet. Moreover, it's not the only high-priced property being shopped among Bitcoin users. The website that facilitated the transaction is currently listing a Paris property with a view of the Eiffel Tower listed for $6.3 million, among other items.
According to CoinDesk:
BitPremier founder and CEO Alan Silbert indicates that the 3,000-square-foot villa sold for more than $500,000, though the exact price paid by the buyer was not revealed.
Silbert, brother of SecondMarket CEO and BitPremier investor Barry Silbert, indicated that the sale is “by far the largest” completed to date via the marketplace, which was launched last May.
As for the house sale, Silbert indicated that due to Indonesia’s unique laws regarding the ownership of real estate by foreigners, the buyer is technically purchasing a long-term lease.
The property boasts an intricate design that blends the indoors and outdoors with open-sided rooms, a dedicated dining pavilion and a private pool.
In addition, the villa features two modern bedrooms and two bathrooms.
For those new to digital currency, Bitcoins are a long series of incredibly complex, military-grade encrypted alphanumeric characters that can be stored on a piece of paper, in a digital wallet or on an individual computer.
Miners create more bitcoins by working out increasingly difficult algorithms that grow more complex with every solution, so that more bitcoins are added to the system slowly over time at a rate that is both stable and predictable.
Bitcoin is still subject to wild fluctuations in value as its value is based purely on supply and demand, unlike the dollar and other national currencies that have fiat value or are pegged to precious metals. As of the time of this writing, a bitcoin is valued on most exchanges at around $595.