History is set to be made next month on Monday April 8 2019, when James Pratt becomes the first auctioneer to conduct a live cryptocurrency real estate auction. A first also for Australia to be the country to facilitate this.
Mr Pratt was asked to collaborate with international heavyweight blockchain corporation NuYen, and cryptocurrency giants Binance to offer interested bidders the opportunity to purchase a luxury beachfront mansion exclusively using cryptocurrency – namely Bitcoin (BTC) or Binance Coin (BNB).
The property, located at 1 Beech Lane, Casuarina on the NSW North Coast, has been dubbed “The Jetsons house” because of its futuristic style and spaceship-like design, and comes with a price guide of 700-800 bitcoins, equivalent to a $3.5 million.
Nick Witheriff of LJ Hooker Kingscliff is the local listing agent and said the response has been enormous from international buyers leading up the auction.
“It’s been non-stop with enquirers from buyers across the world, from Asia to USA to China”, he said
Investors hold more than US$135.4 billion of wealth in cryptocurrency globally, according to CoinMarketCap data for 15 March 2019.
Each single Bitcoin was worth USD$3883.38 (AUD$5,401.21) at the close of that date.
“All this money in Bitcoin is stranded in some ways because it is hard to spend,” said Greg Costello, President/ COO of NuYen Blockchain Corp.
“If you hold large amounts of Bitcoin you might feel rich, but your options for actually spending it can be limited. Until now, it has been hard to use Bitcoin to buy large assets like real estate.”
NuYen’s technology is set to facilitate these cross-border real estate transactions something that’s not been available in the past.
On auction Day, instead of calling out the bids in dollars, the bids will be called out in Bitcoin. A large screen will display the current Bitcoin bid and its Australian-dollar equivalent.
“If a buyer who does not own enough Bitcoin wins the auction, we can easily just convert their cash to Bitcoin for the transaction,” said NuYen’s Costello.
For Pratt this is not the first time he has been involved in an unusual auction situation. In 2016 he was involved in Australia’s first live Facebook auction.