Connecting Bitcoin with Real Estate
Bitcoin is a digital currency that was born in 2009 amidst the economic crash. It was the brainchild of an anonymous genius named Satoshi Nakamoto who had the goal of creating a payment system that bypasses any intermediary system...the US Treasury is not involved. There are hundreds of digital currencies out there, but Bitcoin has been the most successful and widely used.
Bitcoin has no boundaries. You can spend it all over the world without having to convert it to another country's currency. Each bitcoin transaction is recorded in a public ledger called the blockchain.
There are two reasons you would buy Bitcoin: to spend it on a regular basis, or as an investor. When I first bought Bitcoin in November of 2015, one Bitcoin was worth $280. As of today, one Bitcoin is now worth $1,293. Bitcoin has a pretty high volatility and has had its share of bubbles, so as an investor, I'm in it for the long haul and don't worry too much about short-term price fluctuation.
It can be traded on the Forex market (foreign exchange market) with other digital and world currencies, or on BTC-e, which is an exchange platform exclusively for virtual currencies. The Winklevoss twins, who sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their social media platform idea, have also been building "a next generation bitcoin exchange," soon to be released for "first-time users and professional traders."
Where can you buy Bitcoin? My favorites are trusted exchanges called Circle and Coinbase. You will exchange USD for BTC (Bitcoin abbreviation). You can always change your Bitcoin back into dollars. Satoshi's design only allowed a limited 21 million Bitcoins to be in circulation. As of March 2017, there are 16.2 million in circulation.
You can practically buy anything with Bitcoin these days. From your local coffee shop to major retailers, like Overstock, TigerDirect, Expedia, Tesla, Home Depot and Sears, you will see that many different places are accepting Bitcoin payments for goods and services. The real benefit of Bitcoin for retailers is that there are little to no transaction fees. Bitcoin.travel will help you travel the world just using the digital currency. And yes, there ARE websites where you can even buy residential and commercial real estate from Illinois to Spain, Australia and Thailand, and everywhere in between. Check out http://bitcoin-realestate.com/ and https://www.bitpremier.com/5-real-estate.
Blockchain technology is the driving force behind Bitcoin. This technology has the attention of all the largest banks around the world, as well as the real estate industry. International Blockchain Real Estate Association is a group of real estate and tech professionals working on making real estate more transparent using the blockchain for contracts, titles, property history, transferring money, preventing fraud, and cutting out the expense and time of middlemen, such as brokers, title companies, government databases, etc.
The startup, Ubitquity, is currently raising capital to pursue "... a simple user experience for securely recording & tracking property records with [the] SaaS blockchain platform." It claims, "We help e-recording companies, title companies, and custom clients benefit from a clean record of ownership, reducing future title search time, increased confidence and transparency."
Philadelphia-based Vista Abstract was the first title company to accept and work with Bitcoin for real estate transaction.
The New York-based startup, Flip, is a leasing company that's also using the blockchain to store and transfer a renter's financials and credit profile.
Brelion is a crowdfunding platform that allows users to invest in real estate using Bitcoin while earning interest. The minimum investment is 5 BTC (currently $6,465).
Bitcoin and blockchain technology have opened up new and exciting possibilities for the future of real estate. More and more of these startups are popping up. I wholly embrace the future this technology brings with all the benefits of convenience, security, transparency and no transaction fees.