A Tokyo-based real estate firm is selling a small commercial building for 547 bitcoin, or $6 million. It is said to be the first building in Japan to be sold using bitcoin.
During an interview with South Korean mainstream media outlet MK, a Japanese real estate startup Yitanzi stated that it is selling various properties including a small commercial building and apartment spaces for cryptocurrencies. The startup’s CTO Yokozawa Yuske stated that an increasing number of investors in the local cryptocurrency space have started to eye the country’s real estate market, primarily to spend profits they have amassed from cryptocurrency investment over the past few years.
Yuske noted that there are also many investors in the local real estate market looking to sell multi-million dollar properties in exchange for bitcoin, because it is difficult to purchase massive amounts of bitcoin on cryptocurrency exchanges without undergoing a rigorous verification process to increase trading limits.
Already, Yitanzi spokesperson revealed that a property in Tokyo will be sold for bitcoin in the upcoming weeks and that other properties listed by the startup will also be sold for bitcoin. The company did not comment on integrating or accepting other cryptocurrencies in the market but as for now, it will only accept bitcoin for property purchases.
Normally, purchasing properties through banks and third party service providers lead to significantly high fees, especially if several millions of dollars have to be transacted between two seperate banks. As such, to circumvent the inefficient global banking system, many realtors in London and UAE have started to accept bitcoin for large-scale payments as well.
In September 2017, British entrepreneurs Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman disclosed that their $356 million real estate project will accept bitcoin from clients and buyers. Each apartment in the complex costs 30 bitcoins, around $330,000.
At the time, Barrowman stated:
“I’ve been invested in the crypto world for the last couple of years really, and it’s a sector I’ve watched grow and emerge. So I see it coming to that stage where the early adopters are giving way to a more mainstream application of cryptocurrency, and therefore it’s a logical extension to take land and buildings and effectively offer people the opportunity to pay in cryptocurrency or bitcoin rather than just fiat currency.”
While bitcoin fees could be costly for small payments especially when the network congests and fees spike up to over $10, for transactions above $100,000, a $10 transaction fee is substantially lower than bank wiring fees.
In Japan, some of the largest electronics manufacturers, budget hotel chains, airlines, and retailers have already started to accept bitcoin as a payment method since early 2017, almost immediately after the Japanese government legalized bitcoin and regulated its cryptocurrency exchange market.
Bic Camera, the country’s biggest electronics retailer, and Peach, Japan’s most widely used budget airline, have been accepting bitcoin payments for more than six months. The integration of bitcoin by influential conglomerates have increased the awareness of the Japanese people regarding cryptocurrencies, leading to a surge in interest and demand for bitcoin.
This month, Japan’s largest bank MUFG announced its plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange to address growing demand from institutional and retail traders.