Bitcoin is a term shrouded in mystery: what is it, exactly? Is it legal? What can you do with it? How is its value determined? All of these questions and more were recently answered when High Country Properties’ own Bob Struwe represented a buyer in Utah’s first, and one of the nation’s largest, Bitcoin real estate transactions.
Developed in 2009, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is not tied to banks or a specific country. Instead, the value of Bitcoin is determined by computers using sophisticated algorithms based on the use of Bitcoin in a market. The value of Bitcoin, much like the stock market, can change day by day. As Russ Smith of Park City’s Real Advantage Title Insurance Company explains, “It’s basically a stock that you can use via a credit card.”
When the buyer approached Struwe, it was clear that it could be a challenge to make a deal happen. “We were running into a real problem,” Struwe said. “His ideal scenario would be if a seller would take Bitcoin, and I knew that was going to be pretty remote.” Many people have never heard of Bitcoin, and still others often associate it with illegal behavior that made headlines years ago. Luckily for the buyer, Struwe was not deterred and set out to make a deal happen.
The $3.5 million dollar deal Struwe was able to negotiate for his client is one of the largest Bitcoin transactions to date, and Utah’s first. The deal took just 7 days to close, while most cash transactions average three to four weeks. One of the reasons this deal went through so quickly is the nature of Bitcoin itself. It’s in both the seller and buyer’s best interests to proceed quickly before the value of the currency changes.
Since finalizing the transaction, Struwe has been contacted by buyers from around the country and the world who are interested in purchasing property. With Park City real estate at a premium, and with Bitcoin emerging as a new way to purchase property, Struwe and High Country Properties is at the forefront of a new age in real estate.