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Can cryptocurrencies be accepted for real estate transactions?

Cyptocurrency has led to debates and discussions in a variety of industries. Across Canada, real estate professionals have begun discussing whether real estate transactions will ever be done using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. In response, a renovation company in Calgary has made an unprecedented move by allowing customers to pay for services using cryptocurrencies. 

The Alberta renovation company began accepting such payments on March 1, with both bitcoin and ethereum as accepted tender. Cryptocurrency will be accepted for both renovation and custom build projects. The renovation company says that it believes that everyday transactions, including real estate transactions and those related to renovations, will eventually grow to incorporate the new technology.

The owner of the company says that cryptocurrencies could potentially reduce currency exchange fluctuations that currently exist in his market. This may reduce or stabalize the price of materials and logistics. Peer-to-peer transactions using cryprocurrencies also have the potential to cut out certain middlemen such as banks, which may also eliminate certain markups.

While this Alberta company has been able to take such a step, regulators in other provinces are currently raking a serious look at whether brokerages should accept cryptocurrency in real estate transactions. British Columbia's regulator has banned agents and brokerages from processing payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrency while Ontario continues to review the issue. As laws around issues such as this are developed and adjusted, it is a good idea for those buying and selling real estate to work with a lawyer on each individual transaction to ensure it is within the confines of provincial law.

Source: The Globe and Mail, "Calgary renovation company will accept cryptocurrency payment", Sarah Rieger, Feb. 27, 2018

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