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Real Estate Broker: 'We accept bitcoin'

01/04/2014, By

Real estate broker: ‘We accept bitcoin’


The bitcoin has gained a foothold in one of the hottest business sectors in the country: Manhattan real estate.

Bond New York, a Manhattan-based real estate broker, has started accepting the digital currency for real estate transactions, The Post has learned.

Bond New York believes it is the first real estate brokerage firm to accept bitcoin.

“Real estate brokerage is a service industry,” said Noah Freedman, a co-founder of Bond New York. “Our job is to make real estate transactions easy for our customers. Bitcoins are just another mechanism to help people facilitate transactions.”

Several larger real estate brokers are not sold on the idea and have no plans to set up bitcoin accounts any time soon.

“We don’t accept them, and we have no plans to accept them,” Pam Liebman, CEO of the Corcoran Group, said Friday. “We prefer the American dollar.”

“Bitcoins could be here today and gone tomorrow,” Liebman explained. “How do you trade them? Can you walk into Barneys and pay in bitcoins? What happens if people decide not to accept them anymore?”

Howard Lorber, President and CEO of Vector Group and chairman of Douglas Elliman, a Vector subsidiary that is the largest real estate brokerage in the New York area, agreed.

“We’ve never had anyone ask to use them, and we wouldn’t accept them,” Lorber said.

While bitcoins trade on a few small exchanges, Lorber said that one of the main problems is that there is no government “to step in and take care of problems” when they arise.

“Dollars and pounds are currency that goes up or down. What happens if people decide not to use [bitcoin] anymore? I don’t know why anyone would use them,” Lorber said.

All currencies have to be both a medium of exchange and a good that holds value — something bitcoins have not done.

Last December, the price of one bitcoin dropped from $1,200 to $600 in 48 hours

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