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When it Comes to Real Estate, Cryptocurrency Raises Plenty of Questions

It’s even touched the real estate industry, where the new currency has been the experiment of a scattered number of high-end transactions across the country. “This is semi-chartered territory now,” says Sheryl Lowe, broker associate at Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin, Tex. The agency completed its first sale using Bitcoin last July and has since done two more in November and December (both in the $1 million to $3 million range). Since last fall, they have been accepting three big currencies—Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin—for transactions. In California, city and county transfer taxes have to be in U.S. dollars, so the conversion method would be the most likely way to complete a transaction. David Kelmenson of the Agency is the listing agent on a $6.995 million home in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood that is the firm’s first listing with Bitcoin as an accepted payment. The idea came from a prior sale in which the Agency accepted a number of stock shares equal to the $30 million to $40 million price of the listing. This can create headaches when trying to value how many Coins to sell in order to equal the U.S. dollar value of a transaction. Still, the speed at which cryptocurrency transactions can happen is attractive to some realtors. It’s likely the first large-scale auction to accept cryptocurrency.