Why housebuilders shouldn’t ignore cryptocurrencies

December 13, 2017 / Isla MacFarlane
Why housebuilders shouldn’t ignore cryptocurrencies

In October, an otherwise unremarkable new build property in Colchester went on sale for £375,000 – and made national headlines. Property developers Go Homes announced they would accept 82.55 Bitcoin for the four-bedroom house and enjoyed unprecedented media attention.

In September, British entrepreneurs Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman launched a bitcoin-priced real estate development in Dubai. The very next month, a mansion in Notting Hill went on the market for £17 million – payable only in bitcoin. According to Lev Loginov, co-founder of property firm London Wall, the property had 15 viewings in a week despite the luxury market bearing the brunt of slowing property prices.

According to Ed Casson, group sales director at Go Homes, selling homes for Bitcoin will become common in the next five years.

It isn’t hard to prop up this prediction. A $1k investment in Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth $1m now. The price of Bitcoin has risen considerably from approximately £550 in November 2016 to nearly £7,000 per coin.

Investors currently riding high will probably want to cash in for a more tangible asset, and what better than bricks and mortar? This is especially true of the younger generation. A revolution is currently taking place among Millennials who will choose to place approximately two thirds of their savings into cryptocurrencies in the next five years.

Crippled by student debt, zero hour contracts and rising house prices, it comes as no surprise that an increased number of millennials are investing their spare cash into Bitcoin in the hope for quick returns.

A survey by https://coinspectator.com/ has found that 6 out of 10 respondents purchased Bitcoin in the last 12 months and are now less interested in putting their spare cash into a traditional savings account due to the low interest rates.

70% of participants said they were unhappy with the interest rates offered by their bank, and nearly 65 per cent said they felt their money was safer in Bitcoin.

Although the younger generation prefer saving in Bitcoin, just under half are also on the lookout for a more flexible and modern banking system with 45% stating they hoped their current bank would integrate the ability to purchase, sell and store Bitcoin in the future

75% felt they are also being robbed of their money and not valued as a customer when it comes to traditional financial institutions.

“The younger generation are far better connected with technology and are notoriously quick to act on new ideas, ecosystems and gadgets,” said Andrew Sung, founder of CoinSpectator.com. “This has enabled them to invest in cryptocurrencies over the last few years, well before large hedge funds and financial institutions started to get involved.”

“We might see a decline in bank usage among the younger generation in the next five years if Bitcoin and other promising blockchain technologies like Ethereum continue to expand and become more user friendly,” Sung added.

According to the Institute of Economic Affairs, Bitcoin could open the floodgates to tidal wave of private money.

Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said, “If government were to embrace private monies rather than suppress them, there would be profound implications for individual freedom. Bitcoin has proved widely successful as an alternative form of exchange and as way of restoring financial freedom. It is just the beginning however. Fierce demand for private money will drive innovation, creating a tidal wave of new and superior forms of exchange.”

In the meantime, Bitcoin remains an extremely volatile investment capable of shedding 20% of its value within an hour and a half. However, a generation with few other options are likely to continue mining cryptocurrencies – and any properties priced in a currency they can afford are likely to receive their undivided attention.

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