Some say that the first purchase of a house with Bitcoin happened in September 2017 in Austin, Texas. Others claim it was a building in the region of Essex, in the UK, that same year. What is certain is that starting in 2017 real estate transactions in cryptocurrency are no longer such a rarity.
A few weeks later, in fact, came the announcement that the first apartment had been purchased with Bitcoin in Italy, in the city of Turin. Still today, in spite of the crisis of recent months, various websites feature real estate deals involving cryptocurrency, posted by private players or real estate agencies, as in the case of the luxury apartment sold in May in Milan by Luxforsale.
This might seem surprising. The crypto market is already going through a period of uncertainty, with remarkable ups and downs (Bitcoin in particular, but also Ethereum, XRP, Cardana and Solana have plunged, while TerraUSD and Luna have practically lost all value). Furthermore, Bitcoin is still not a currency with legal value here in Italy.
These currencies, however, can be used for transactions if there is an agreement between the parties, on the condition that in the deed an equivalent corresponding sum must be indicated in legal tender, namely the Euro in our country. In short, the system is legitimate and perfectly functional also in Italy.
But what are the advantages of this sort of transaction? The first, and perhaps the most important, is that they make it easier to attract foreign capital, since there are no exchange rates and commissions to pay for the conversion of one currency to another. The entire process thus becomes simpler, faster and more economical.
Furthermore, the transaction is more “discreet” (even anonymous, if so desired), but at the same time it is safe, because its certification happens through mathematics and encryption (as explained here by the expert on NFTs and CryptoArt Bruno Pitzalis), not through a third party like a bank.
So it is only natural that great interest has grown up around this sector, as proven by the many projects and investments in progress, where Italians are more than ready to take part.
In Dubai, for example, the latest apartments available in the exclusive Cavalli Tower can be purchased in cryptocurrency thanks to a payment method implemented by the platform 221® Luxury Network.
This is the first residential complex in the world produced by the fashion house Roberto Cavalli: an ultra-premium skyscraper of 70 stories with 485 units in the Dubai Marina area, whose interiors – of course – have been designed by Roberto Cavalli. The design effort is by Shaun Killa, also the creator of the Dubai Museum of the Future. Construction has been completed in collaboration with the international developer DAMAC Properties.
But Cavalli isn’t the only player getting involved with real estate and crypto. The Diesel brand has also decided to make investments in this direction, in Miami: the Diesel Wynwood Condominium, the brand’s first residential complex, offers tenants luxury services like a spa, swimming pools and fitness centers, but also the option of paying with cryptocurrency, thanks to an agreement with the platform FTX US (West Realm Shires Services Inc.).
The apartments of various sizes, from studios to penthouses with panoramic terraces and hot tubs, have prices from 400,000 to 6 million dollars, and are furnished by Diesel Living. “Diesel Living reflects the lifestyle of the new generations, who move all over the world and live according to their own rules,” says Diesel CEO Renzo Rosso, already involved in the creation of a new residential complex in Las Vegas designed for digital nomads.
Also in Miami – seen by many as the world capital of cryptocurrency, where there is even talk of salaries paid in Bitcoin, in spite of the fact that the launch of the city’s own currency, the MiamiCoin, has not met with positive results (at least to date). Slightly over one year ago, a sale was reported for a value of about 22.5 million dollars entirely in cryptocurrency, for the most expensive penthouse in Miami Beach, on the 9th floor of the exclusive boutique condo Arte Surfside, a project by ACPV Architects Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. So is this a new direction for real estate? It might be too soon to tell. But things are definitely changing.