A Texas brokerage claims to be the first in the Lone Star state to have closed on a home purchased with bitcoin.
The digital currency’s runaway price growth in recent months — at least until an early September price drop — has rekindled interest in it, enriching bitcoin holders and renewing its usefulness as a publicity tool for businesses, including real estate companies.
Sheryl Lowe of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer of the Austin, Texas custom home, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum, Kuper Sotheby’s announced in a press release.
She said about the transaction that she “honestly couldn’t have expected something so unique to go so smoothly.”
“In a matter of 10 minutes, the Bitcoin was changed to US Dollars and the deal was done!” she said in a statement.
The price of one bitcoin, which has been notorious for its volatility, recently skyrocketed to a record high of nearly $4,700 in late August, doubling in the span of a month and a half, before falling down to below $3,000 in early September (as of today, it’s regained many losses and is back around $4,000).
The recent gains have sparked a new wave of media coverage. In the past, companies have capitalized on the hype by announcing bitcoin-oriented initiatives, such as plans to accept payment in the currency.
Brokerage Bond New York, rental listing site RentHop, landlord software provider Rentalutions and online lending platform RealtyShares are among real estate companies that have announced that they would accept Bitcoin.
Blockchain, the shared database in which bitcoin transactions are recorded, has been hailed as a potential replacement for existing title transfer systems — though it’s unclear if any companies have successfully used blockchain to facilitate a U.S. title transfer thus far.