Bitcoin is becoming a bandwagon in the US, especially when it comes to the properties market. Notably in Florida people are eager to purchase or sell real estate, giving the preference to bitcoin rather than fiat money. For example, as Straits Times reports, one vendor even said he would accept only 33 BTC as funding for the $500,000-worth house in this American state.
According to the data, presented by the properties company Redfin, virtual money was listed in the acceptable means of payment for 75 objects of real estate in the US, primarily, in Florida mentioned above as well as in California. Needless to say that selling properties for bitcoin is a good offer for international investors, as it allows them to avoid currency monitoring and American economic restrictions.
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Not long ago media buzzed about a 23-year old aircraft engineer who seemed to be the first to purchase a house in the region of Seattle for cryptos. Interestingly, neither the real-estate brokers of both parties nor the mortgage-loan manager had ever had experience with conducting a payment in cryptocurrencies. Even though everybody, except young investor, was prejudiced about the idea, they managed to close the deal without any negative consequences.
And the same thing occurs to other agents as they try to be as cautious as possible when it comes to purchases, connected with bitcoin as it is not considered as a stable currency. Florida CEO for the Douglas Elliman brokerage agency, Jay Parker is one of such people:
"I'd be blown away if a year from now we see hundreds of real estate transactions in bitcoins.”
Scared money doesn’t make any money, – the old saying says. That’s why those investors who are not afraid of risks, gladly choose bitcoin for payment when buying real-estate as that will help them to avoid sanctions and other unwanted restrictions.
BTC specialist and economist at Barry University Charles Evans said that purchase of properties in the US for bitcoin is driven by foreign investors as it’s an excellent opportunity for them to outflank local currency control and ineffective banking.
“The governments in those countries restrict the amount of money that their residents are allowed to transfer abroad through the banking system. Bitcoin enables individuals there to bypass such restrictions,” said Evans.
On the other side, such investors may evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US and even use crypto purchases for money laundering.
For example, Venezuela, whose government considered as dictatorial in the US, strictly monitors currency flows, so its citizens are limited in conducting purchases. At the same time, the country is facing US sanctions, so there is a high possibility that its citizens will try to use cryptos to get out of sufferings brought by the economic crisis. The same goes for Iranians.
However, Evans believes, bitcoin is not the best option for money laundering in massive scope as all BTC transactions are registered in the blockchain. Anybody can check it out and find the initial actor.
Lots of bitcoin critics say that the virtual coin might be used for malicious goals, like buying drugs and weapons or so. But ex-Florida rep Jose Felix means that there are enough of traces of crime that bitcoin’s core – blockchain – leaves. In case one uses BTC or its ilk for illegal doings, the American state authorities will be able to reach out to this person.
Meanwhile, properties agent Parker doesn’t consider bitcoin as a phenomenon which could fuel money laundering. In his opinion, it will always be feasible to trace the beneficial owners of real estate.