For 137 Bitcoin, property in Victoria's Uplands neighbourhood could be yours
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018 6:42PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, January 11, 2018 10:04AM PST
A man selling a vacant lot in an upscale Victoria neighbourhood worth $2.5-million could make Canadian history after he listed the property for Bitcoin – or any cryptocurrency, really.
Hugo Donais owns the empty lot at 3165 Midland Road in Uplands, and while he says he loves the property, he loves cryptocurrency even more.
"I've been actually trading cryptocurrencies myself for a few months, and following the space, so I have a fairly good understanding of what crypto is," said Donais.
The digital gold standard of online currency has made headlines in recent weeks as unpredictable, with its value rapidly rising and falling depending on the day.
On Wednesday, one Bitcoin was equal to $18,233.57 CAD. That makes the property worth about 137 Bitcoin – for now.
The digital currency, which can be mined, bought and traded on the Internet, has developed a reputation of being volatile in the eyes of many financial experts, including Warren Buffett.
The billionaire told CNBC Wednesday that he expects cryptocurrencies in general will come to a "bad ending."
Still, more and more real estate sellers are choosing to accept it as payment.
Donais, a 34-year-old financial advisor, is one of them – and he has a track record of doing things differently, such as turning his other Uplands property into a BMX park.
He knows dealing in the cryptocurrency is no sure bet.
"I think it's a better gamble than going to Vegas," he said.
His realtor, Jason Binab, agrees.
"Five minutes later after completion, it skyrockets, the seller wins. Five minutes later, it drops 40 per cent, we've sold a lot for $2.5-million that's worth almost a million bucks less."
But because Bitcoin isn't tied to any countries or banks, there's no exchange rate for international buyers, which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars saved.
If the seller finds a Bitcoin buyer to play ball, it'll be the first sale of its kind in Canada – but Donais isn't restricting himself to accepting the most recognizable cryptocurrency.
"I can also accept different kinds of currencies, so there's not only Bitcoin," said Donais. Ethereum, LiteCoin, Ripple or "whatever's going at that given moment" are also acceptable forms of payment, Binab said.