A year ago, most of the world had never heard of bitcoin or cryptocurrency. All of the sudden bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the new rage stealing the headlines. What does this mean for real estate? Should buyer/sellers/lenders/loan servicers utilize this new “currency”? What are the risks of using a cryptocurrency like bitcoin for real estate transactions?
What is currency?
First, it is important to define what a currency is. Currency in its most basic form is “a system of money in general use in a particular country.” Furthermore, for a currency to be widely accepted the value of the currency must be relatively stable. For example, a dollar today is worth a dollar tomorrow. Therefore, many emerging economies exchange for dollars to ensure the “buying power” of the currency.
What is cryptocurrency?
“a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.” Bitcoin is one type of cryptocurrency.
Is this a misnomer to classify bitcoin and others as currency?
Yes, values of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have recently had wild swings in value. One-day bitcoin might be worth 30% less or more than it was the day before. Traditional stable currencies do not have wild swings in value. The commodity future trading commission classified bitcoin as a “commodity”.
What should you do?
At Fairview we have made the decision not to accept cryptocurrencies at this point due to the wild gyrations in value. I also don’t feel in it’s present state that Bitcoin is actually a currency today. I don’t want to accept the risk of a payment being worth less within a day. Furthermore, what if Amazon tomorrow came out with its own currency flooding the market with a currency that is cheaper and more widely accepted than any of the traditional players today?
Long term I think there could be a place for alternative payment forms.
It would be advantageous for many businesses to eliminate the middle man (aka the bank) but in its current forms there is too much uncertainty on the true value of these alternative payment forms. They are not ready for transactions until stability is reached. For now, I would sit tight to see how the market sorts this out.
I need your help!
Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to wire money to your long lost cousin that is going to give you a million dollars if you just send them your bank account! I do need your help though, please like and share our articles it would be greatly appreciated.
Written by Glen Weinberg, COO/ VP Fairview Commercial Lending. Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in the Colorado Real Estate Journal, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.
Fairview is a hard money lender specializing in private money loans / non-bank real estate loans in Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, and Florida. They are recognized in the industry as the leader in hard money lending with no upfront fees or any other games. Learn more about Hard Money Lending through our free Hard Money Guide. To get started on a loan all they need is their simple one page application (no upfront fees or other games).