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So You Want to Buy a Home With Bitcoin?

Phil Hall
Dec 15, 2017
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is slowly seeping into the housing market, with a new study by the brokerage Redfin finding 75 listings nationwide where the seller will accept Bitcoin as payment

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is slowly seeping into the housing market, with a new study by the brokerage Redfin finding 75 listings nationwide where the seller will accept Bitcoin as payment. And at least one seller, a condo owner in Miami, insisted in Bitcoin payment only—33 coins, to be precise.
 
With Bitcoin trading for $16,650.01 as of Dec. 12, Redfin estimated it would could 18 Bitcoins to purchase the average U.S. home; the median home in the expensive San Francisco market would go for 82 bitcoins. But sellers also face the uncertainty that the meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s value could be met with an equally rapid decline.
 
“It’s hard to say whether the use of cryptocurrency to buy and sell homes is a long-term trend or just a blip based on the recent spike in value,” said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “In some ways, cryptocurrency investors have just won the lottery, and so it makes perfect sense to buy their dream home. On the other side of the ‘coin’, sellers probably wouldn’t accept lottery tickets as payment.”
 
One individual who is not Bitcoin enthusiast is Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who weighed in on cryptocurrency during a press conference on Wednesday.
 
“It is not a stable store of value and it doesn't constitute legal tender,” Yellen said. “It is a highly speculative asset and the Fed doesn't really play any role, any regulatory role with respect to bitcoin other than assuring that banking organizations that we do supervise [and] are attentive that they're appropriately managing any interactions they have with participants in that market, and appropriately monitoring anti-money laundering [and] Bank Secrecy Act responsibilities that they have.”

 
Published
Dec 15, 2017
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