Australia to Host World’s First Cryptocurrency House Auction

Australia to Host World's First Cryptocurrency House Auction Image

These days, many physical goods, as well as virtual services, can be purchased using cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, but houses are not usually on the menu. So, it comes as even more of a surprise that Australia is set to undertake a world-first, live auction in which a beachside property will be sold to the highest bidder who’ll be paying not in cash, but in cryptocurrency.

The house is being sold through an Australian estate agent called LJ Hooker, which specialises in property sales, rentals, and auctions in the Kingscliff areas of New South Wales.

1 Beech Lane in Casuarina is a five-bedroom, three-bathroom property, and it will feature in an international live property auction on 8th April 2019. The futuristic-looking home is expected to fetch the Bitcoin equivalent of $3.5m AUD – around 700 to 800 Bitcoins.

While the mansion situated next to the idyllic Casuarina Beach is the first house to be sold in a live auction to-date, other properties around the world have already been purchased via cryptocurrency, just not in a live bidding environment.

For example, in 2014, an apartment in Lake Tahoe in the US was purchased by an anonymous buyer for the equivalent of $1.6m USD while a villa in Bali and a suburban house in Kansas City were both snapped up for 800 Bitcoins each. Bitcoin has also been used to buy properties in Spain, Argentina, Thailand, Germany, Indonesia, Panama, and Portugal in recent years.

According to a professor at The University of Queensland’s School of Economics, Dr Brendan Markey-Towler, we should expect to see the purchasing of domestic dwellings using cryptocurrencies becoming more common. He believes that once blockchain-based cryptocurrencies manage to gain “mainstream everyday acceptance as a medium of exchange”, both property rentals and purchases will flourish.

The estate agent arranging the online auction of the Casuarina Beach house is already feeling overwhelmed with the global attention it’s been receiving so far. LJ Hooker’s Nick Witheriff says that in the first week of the upcoming auction being announced, he’s already had two registered bidders, as well as a host of enquiries from cryptocurrency investors and interested parties in Asia, Canada, the US, and Switzerland.

When the house goes under the hammer at 11 AM AEST on 8th April 2019, the bidding will be conducted in Bitcoin, although the successful bidder will be able to complete the purchase using a choice of Binance Coin or Bitcoin. A live screen will feature the conversion rate so that international customers and those who are more unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies will be able to calculate their local currency equivalent of the current bids.

The 412m-squared beachfront residence is known as “The Jetsons”, and as well as being developed in a futuristic style inspired by Googie Architecture, it has many advanced features both inside and out, including a 25m heated lap pool with an adjustable starting block, custom-curved horizontal windows, a soccer pitch, solar panels, video intercom, zoned air conditioning, CCTV, keyless entry, and Google home automation.

By Laura Kilby.