A bitcoin event in California organized by Arcadia Association of Realtors (AAR) discussed the potential implications of the cryptocurrency on the Chinese real estate market. In particular, the CEO of Meson.re, which is focused on helping mainland Chinese investors purchase real estate in the US, explained how their service plays a role in the real estate industry in general.
According to CEO Ragnar Lifthrasir, bitcoin could be used in the lucrative international real estate trade as it relates to California. “I think there’s understanding of the problem and why there’s a need in China. They immediately got it. There are two ways to buy [now], the black and the gray markets. The black market is you know someone who knows someone and the gray market is I don’t know how it works but they money gets there,” he explained.
Bitcoin and Real Estate
Chinese investors have actually accounted for 25% of all US house acquisitions by foreign buyers in the past years. These sales have involved complex workarounds, most of which can be simplified with the use of bitcoin.
As for AAR, the group has expressed skepticism about bitcoin for the time being, although it did acknowledge that the cryptocurrency could be used in the case of Chinese real estate investors. “Bitcoin is in the media and in the news,” AAR CEO Andrew Cooper said. “We wanted to educate our members on how it’s being used for real estate so they can have it top of mind if their clients ask for more information.”
At the moment, Chinese law limits wire transfers to $50,000 annually per person, but these restrictions are not applied to bitcoin. Lifthrasir says that bitcoin could be a workaround, but is quick to clarify that their methods are not illegal.
“I wouldn’t consider it a gray market, what we’re doing is legal,” he explained. “You can buy as much bitcoin as you want and there’s no issue with that. We help clients acquire bitcoin and if they want to purchase the property we help them convert that into dollars.”