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Bitcoin in Real Estate?

01/02/2014, By

Bitcoin in real estate?

The future of home buying in America may include fewer traditional gbildereenbacks.

A Manhattan-based real estate brokerage that specializes in residential rentals, sales and commercial leasing announced Thursday it will now accept bitcoin as payment for real estate transactions.

BOND New York is believed to be the first traditional real estate brokerage in the U.S. to accept this fairly new – and somewhat controversial – form of virtual currency.

The brokerage cited client benefits of using bitcoin on real estate transactions that include: easier mobile payments, security, low possessing fees and identity protection.

Although it may seem far-fetched, the concept of using bitcoin for real estate deals in Southwest Florida may not be too far behind. Already, the currency is catching on with some Sarasota businesses.

In November, the HuB business incubator in Sarasota become the first vendor in the region — and it says the first real estate landlord in the state — to officially accept the new digital currency.

The HuB, and many of the 50-plus start-up companies that call the downtown building home, now accept bitcoin as if it were cold, hard cash. They hope to set a trend for other businesses throughout the area to more widely accept the new method of payment.

Bitcoin is a virtual peer-to-peer form of currency that is purchased and traded online.

Unlike most forms of money now used — including the U.S. dollar — bitcoin is not controlled by one single government, corporation or centralized bank.

Consumers cannot hold it, or tuck it away in their wallet because it does not physically exist. But that does not mean it is not real — or valuable. Right now, the price tag for 1 bitcoin on most Internet exchange websites is about $750.

As more business begin to recognize bitcoin – like the HuB landlors – many believe it could soon sweep through the real estate industry.

"The currency is earned by computers solving complex mathematic equations first; so far about half of 21 million bitcoins that will ever be created have been created, and earned," Noah Freedman, co-founder of BOND New York, said in a statement.

"Bitcoin is a convenient and inexpensive way for our customers to transfer money so we see it as a win-win situation which will impact the real estate industry."

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