Bricks and Bitcoin: First UK properties sold in the cryptocurrency
Two houses have been sold using Bitcoin in a landmark event that could spark a new trend where cash is no longer the go-to currency in property sales.
A number of homes have gone on the market this year where Bitcoin is either one option, or the only option, of payment being accepted by the seller, and the first two properties have now been sold by developer Go Homes using the cryptocurrency.
One is a new-build, four-bedroom detached house in Colchester, Essex, which was bought for the equivalent of £350,000 in bitcoins by a Bitcoin miner – someone who uses technology to earn bitcoins without buying them – while the other is a £595,000 four-bedroom Hertfordshire home.
The buyer of the Colchester house is planning on renting the property out in bitcoins, a concept which is growing in popularity along with the rise in the cryptocurrency, with London property developer The Collective being the first company to offer this option on some of its rental homes this year.
No bail-out from banks
Go Homes group sales director Ed Casson said: “This re-writes the rule book and shows there is another way to sell property.
“Because the Bitcoin is so volatile purchasers buy a property outright, with no deposit. They exchange and complete at the same time.”
However, there are still some stark warnings around the cryptocurrency coming from industry experts, who say that Bitcoin is not regulated by the Bank of England or the Financial Conduct Authority, and there will be no bail-out from banks if the bubble bursts.
John Chatfield Roberts, a veteran fund manager with Jupiter, said: “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a bubble on a par with tulips and the South Sea Bubble. The regulators must make it abundantly clear to the public that if they choose to speculate in these things they will almost certainly lose money eventually and they will NOT be bailed out.”
In the US, it has emerged that some amateur investors are even remortgaging their homes in order to release cash to buy bitcoins.
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