Bitcoin has been on a hell of a ride lately, gaining more and more exposure in the public eye. And like in every recent bull run, the adoption of Bitcoin and crypto in general seems just around the corner.
Main Street is finding out about Bitcoin, no longer is the community only open to cyber punks.It isn’t unusual anymore for the average man to hold some Bitcoin in their portfolio.
And as Bitcoin becomes more and more popular, people are realizing that crypto is a lot more than just magic coins on your screen. And this begs the question, where exactly can we spend our Bitcoin?
The answer has more to it than meets the eye. Today we’ll be looking at an example of real estate, can you buy it with Bitcoin and is it convenient? Let’s take a look.
Read also: How to buy a car with crypto?
How To Buy A House With Bitcoin
So starting off, is it possible to buy a house with Bitcoin? The answer is yes, but both transacting parties have to be on board. Which is easier said than done, because even though Bitcoin is growing, not that many people are willing to accept it for such a large payment.
The next step is finding an insurance and escrow company that are willing to handle the transaction, your best bet here is to go with a non-custodial P2P platform.
But even though this is theoretically possible it still doesn’t happen all that often. Accepting a Bitcoin payment so large is without a doubt no riskless task, and for many the cons outweigh the pros.
The Pros Of Buying A Home With Bitcoin
Let’s take a look at the potential benefits and perks of buying a home with Bitcoin.
Acquirement Of A More Secure Asset
From the milkman to your next door neighbour, everyone knows it. Crypto is one crazy, volatile asset class. The Bitcoin you bought or earned 1 month ago may be worth a lot less they you actually paid for. Of course the opposite is true, the price of that Bitcoin could have skyrocketed and is now worth way more than what you paid for.
On the other hand, real estate is a much more stable market. You won’t see scary 40% drops from one week to the next. And with less risks also comes less reward as real estate doesn’t appreciate at the same rate as Bitcoin or crypto in general, which of course does not mean there’s no profit in it.
So buying an asset with crypto is trading a volatile asset with a much more stable one.
If you would have bet on the right coins this year you could easily have 10xed your capital…
You could even have made as much as 100x which means you could have turned $100 into as much as 10k.
Experts believe this will happen again in 2021, the only question is which coin do you bet on?
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In some cases sellers will even offer discounts when paying in crypto. The reason for this is quite straightforward, Bitcoin is for them a better alternative to FIAT currencies. Getting paid in Bitcoin is the better option as unlike FIAT it is expected to appreciate exponentially in the future.
That may be worth accepting less for.
Increased Purchase Speed
Traditional payment methods take ages to go through, Bitcoin can speed up the process. Additionally by purchasing a house with crypto, you’ll go through numerous hurdles in the mortgage process.
And if you are able to put up the crypto upfront, like you would with cash, the offer will come out as stronger.
The Cons Of Buying A Home With Bitcoin
Now, let’s take a look at the downsides of buying a home with crypto.
Volatile Nature Of Bitcoin
First of all, as already mentioned, crypto is notoriously volatile. So because the value changes by the day, the crypto you put up to pay for the home will also fluctuate during the process. The added element of uncertainty means that some investors may be hesitant to accept an asset that may be worth a lot less in a week than today.
Some sellers have enough to think about and cannot afford these uncertainties. Real estate usually appreciates in value, so investors might sell their home for more than they bought it for. With BItcoin that’s not a certainty, at least not in the short-medium term .
Unfamiliarity With Digital Currency
Cryptocurrency has been around for only a decade, so it’s still relatively new. It’s risen to fame only and gained the public eye, only in recent years – leaving many still unfamiliar with the space. A lot of people are still hesitant and nervous in getting involved with something they don’t fully understand.
Sellers are hard to find and insurance and escrow companies that are willing to give cryptocurrency a chance are rare. There’s also a lot of myths that are still somehow around in crypto such as them being only used by criminals for illicit activity. Still crypto has a bad name.
Finding A Seller
Unfortunately we aren’t at the point yet where you can easily trade your crypto stash for some real estate. Be prepared to face some difficulty when looking for a site that accepts your listing or even a seller.
Rarely do sellers include cryptocurrency friendly listings, so most of the time you will have to ask yourself if they accept crypto payments.
Fortunately there’s also home listings that have filters available with which you can use only home sales accepting crypto. Although do not count on it to be a widespread feature on many sites yet.
How Does Buying A Home With Other Cryptocurrencies Compare To Bitcoin?
When buying a home with crypto you will very likely have to pay with Bitcoin or Ethereum. Crypto is still widely considered a risky asset class, therefore smaller and speculative coins are not accepted by people in the real estate industry. And if finding a seller that accepts BTC and ETH isn’t that easy, finding one that accepts Dogecoin is almost impossible.
A sly way around this is cashing them out first, sellers and insurance companies will likely be easier to work if you offer them cash you got by selling the crypto. Accepting 22 Bitcoins for a house might seem daunting, but converting it first to cash ($132700 at the time of writing) might help the reluctant.
My opinion – The Public Blockchain Problem in Buying Real Estate
The biggest issue with buying real estate with Bitcoin or any other public blockchain is the lack of privacy. You see, contrary to popular belief most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, all transactions are completely public. There’s no anonymity.
When you buy a house with Bitcoin, anyone can open a blockchain explorer and if they know the public address see how much you spent and how much you have in your wallet. Now would you want everybody to know how much you spent on your house and how much you have in your bank? Of course I wouldn’t, that’s why there’s no chance you’d catch using Bitcoin to buy a house. Just like you want clothes to walk around, you want privacy for your finances.
The public blockchain could prove a huge problem particularly for business owners. Competitors would be able to spy on how much they spent for real estate, giving them a huge advantage.Let’s say you are flipping houses, if your competitor knows exactly what your break even point is, he can use that to his advantage and make you lose money.
Another problem you could have when using Bitcoin to buy real estate is the fungibility issue. Bitcoin cannot be said to be exactly non-fungible as a NFT, but most people do not know that every coin comes with a transactional history. And because each coin has a different history it means that 1 BTC /=/ 1 BTC. Alternatively with FIAT, $1 always equals $1.
The implications of this for real estate investors go deeper than meets the eye. Because of the fungibility of Bitcoin, certain coins can be “tainted” meaning that centralized exchanges often due governmental pressure mark a coin. The coin will then be practically useless as no centralized wallet or exchange will accept it. Even worse, not only won’t they accept it, oftentimes your account will be shut down and all your crypto lost if you are sent some taintated Bitcoin.
This adds another layer of risk, as if you are selling a home you’ll risk receiving Bitcoin that you can do nothing with.
What I am about to say is not going to be popular, if it isn’t fungible and its transactions private then it’s not money. You heard that right, Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies do not have the technical characteristics to be classified as money.
What to do then? Of course I am not a crypto hater, but I’d dare to say that when it comes to buying a home BTC just won’t cut it. Fortunately the cryptoverse has already developed a solution, so called “privacy coins.” These cryptocurrencies such as Monero have all the characteristics of money, such as complete anonymity, untraceability and fungibility.
This is what makes, at least theoretically, Monero the superior option when buying a home. On closing note, the technical characteristics of Bitcoin make it not ideal for these kinds of transactions, but it does still excel at being a store of value.
The Bottom Line
Investing in real estate with crypto is possible – but not all sellers are willing to accept digital assets. And most of the time if they accept payments in crypto, it will only be Bitcoin. If you want to use another cryptocurrency to invest in home then your best bet is to cash out and offer that instead.
And as I explained earlier, even though I have the biggest respect for Bitcoin as a store of value, it just doesn’t have the technical characteristics to be used as digital money. But for the time being, Bitcoin now finally in the limelight has to receive enough adoption and start being used in these transactions before anything else.
When people start investing in Real Estate using Bitcoin then we can discuss using more appropriate cryptocurrencies such as Monero.
But crypto is inevitable, buying houses with Bitcoin will soon be common. And after this step will come the rest.
CaptainAltcoin’s writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CaptainAltcoin.com