There’s certainly been a lot of noise about Bitcoin recently—you know, the cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system that’s now famous for being the first decentralized digital currency in the world. In fact, Bitcoin is actually starting to become so mainstream that a number of U.S. states have already changed or adapted new laws that allow the digital technology to be used for buying and selling property.
But while we’re still years or maybe even decades away from seeing significant changes in how digital currency and the real estate industry coincide, select real estate companies have already begun experimenting with accepting cryptocurrencies for rental payment, or to buy properties outright.
As recently highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, ManageGo, a New York-based company that provides property owners a smarter, faster way to accept rental payments, is already making plans to release technology that allows people to pay rent using virtual money, which could come as early as next year.
Another advantage to using Bitcoin and other digital currencies for real estate purposes is the affect it could have on how property titles could potentially be recorded and processed during the transfer process. As it relates to cryptocurrencies, “blockchain” technology basically acts as a ledger for who owns a particular bitcoin or other form of digital currency, and this idea could also potentially be applied to property title record keeping and transferring as well.
The current system of recording property ownership literally dates back centuries, and in the U.S. specifically, property titles are all public documents that are recorded with about 3,600 counties, towns, and other jurisdictions throughout the country. Furthermore, some property title records are only available in writing, requiring a visit to the local town clerk in order to be viewed. But with blockchain, records could presumably be digitized and available online moving forward, providing a more efficient and cost-effective way to search and analyze property titles.
Eventually, the end goal will be a day when using cryptocurrencies to buy real estate and using blockchain technology to record the transfers will be more common than not, and some say that day could be coming faster than we may think.