Cryptocurrency touted as gateway to deeper buyer pool

While still a novel idea, selling properties for Bitcoin is being touted as a way to reach more international buyers, many of whom are constrained by caps on capital outflow.

Derryn Shrosbree, who last month sold a Mississauga condo for Bitcoin—the first transaction of its kind in Canada—is at it again, this time selling a 2,550-square foot single-family detached home in Halifax. He has four more properties he intends to flip for Bitcoin over the next few months.

According to his Halifax-based sales agent, Shrosbree has opened himself up to a larger pool of buyers, as evidenced by his Mississauga condo selling in four business days.

“Some people think we’re limiting our market, but we’re broadening our market because we find that, in Canada, there are a lot of foreign investors, or prospective ones, but they can’t get their money out of the country easily,” said Angie Bryant of Bryant Realty Atlantic. “So this gives them another opportunity to purchase real estate in Halifax.”

Shrosbree’s Toronto-based agent Brett Starke looked for a forward-thinking sales agent in Halifax and found Bryant, who said she jumped at the opportunity to become involved with such a unique opportunity. However, listing the transaction for Bitcoin hasn’t been without its hiccups.
The Nova Scotia Association of Realtors took down the listing, even though it had been approved by the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission, which has authority over the former. The property is listed for $495,000, but the Bitocin price is updated daily (it’s listed at 58Bitocin at the time of this writing).

Shrosbree and Bryant aren’t taking a confrontational approach, though.

“We’re in the business of changing things for the better, and it’s not like we haven’t done this before—we’re not novices,” Shrosbree told CREW. “Everyone including the CRA and FSCO knows about it. The commission said we were allowed to list it. You’re allowed to sell real estate for anything—sparkling water, lemons, gold bars—and the federal government says that when you sell real estate, the seller can choose anything.

“We’re trying to educate the real estate board. Everyone gets paid, taxes get paid, and federally it’s legal. Realtors are a little scared, but it’s the way of the future, and it’s a good thing. Selling for cryptocurrency is a good thing because it opens up a new buyer’s market, specifically for people looking to liquidate a cryptocurrency into a hard asset, whether it’s real estate, cars or whatever it may be. We proved it legally in Ontario and now we’re trying to show in Halifax how it’s done.”

 

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