Bitcoin buyers are the latest group being invited into Denver’s tough-to-get-into real estate market.
This month Cedar Crest Properties became one of the first companies in the country to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment from homebuyers. So far, nobody has taken the Denver-based company up on its offer.
Bitcoin and homeownership have both long felt inaccessible for many. It was Jason Nickel’s idea to put them together.
Nickel owns Cedar Crest Properties and has been a bitcoin holder since 2012.
“We believe we’re the first company in Denver to offer this,” he said. “We really want to help demystify these decentralized cryptocurrencies and encourage people to begin using them not just for larger purchases, like real estate, but also day-to-day transactions whenever possible.”
Bitcoin is top of mind for many people right now because the value of the digital currency skyrocketed in 2017 after seeing a surge of investment.
One bitcoin was equivalent to $11,149 at the start of Wednesday, according to a Market Insider index. Less than a decade ago, the currency — not tied to banks, credit card issuers or other third parties — was worth less than a dollar.
There are also more places to spend bitcoin than in the currency’s early days. San Francisco-based Purse.io lets users purchase from Amazon.com with bitcoin. Another company out of San Francisco, Coinbase, is acting as a digital wallet and allowing major retailers to accept the currency.
Cedar Crest Properties first made a two-bedroom condo in Lakewood as available to cryptocurrency holders. But the property is under contract with a buyer opting for a more traditional payment method. The company currently has a single-family home in Highland available to bitcoin buyers for $509,000.
Cedar Crest Properties plans to accept digital currency for all future listings.
“We do believe real estate is a stable asset you can convert those more volatile funds into. And we think that’s a good thing, but we like to stress that it’s good to hold both which is what I’m doing,” Nickel said.
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