Bitcoin has been buzzing for some time now. Whether it be Dread Pirate Roberts or the recent Chinese ban, Bitcoin has been one of the most talked about topics of the last year. For those that are not familiar with Bitcoin, it is an alternative, digital currency. Embedded in code, the currency can be transferred between users. The total cumulative amount is capped, and is currently valued around $11 billion. To put it's rise in perspective, in January of 2009 it traded for around $10 per BTC, which are now worth around $700 and peaked over $1000.
Would you accept a Bitcoin payment for your home? What a risk! Bitcoin is absolutely recognized as a currency, but is quite comparable to a stock (similar to currency.) Would you accept GE stock in place of cash? It is an incredibly complex decision, but I will go ahead and throw out 3 reasons why I would accept it.
1. Cash is a Risk. Why stop there? Any recognized currency is a risk. Some are riskier than others. I can count at least a half dozen friends who have or are currently trading on the currency market. Why? Because it fluctuates. The US Dollar is not stagnant. It moves regularly, and some days it moves more than others. When the economy is perceived as strong, the value of the dollar increases relative to other currencies. During the recession, the value of the dollar decreased and so did it's buying power. Bitcoin is no different.
2. You are Expanding Your Potential Customer Base. There are two ways to acquire Bitcoin. You can buy BTC's from another user, or you can mine for coins. This mining is way over my head, but, simply put, involves solving jumbled code and doing a bit of computer programming problem solving. Like I said, I really don't understand mining fully. However, there is a huge population who fully back this currency, and by accepting payment I am opening my home up to a greater pool of potential buyers.
3. It's Great Publicity. There is an individual who is selling his home in the Hamptons. He wants to set himself apart, and he believes in Bitcoin. That guys is going to get a few clicks. He generated more interest for his listing than any of his neighbors. What was once unique (see virtual tours, professional photgraphers, IVR systems) are now common place. This gentleman has found a creative way to get more people to view his home. Does this mean that he will receive a higher offer? Probably not. But, he is going to generate more traffic.
Bottom line: It is most certainly an option that comes with risks as well as rewards. It is a choice for each homeowner and she be considered as a possibility. I'd love to hear what you think!