A retail condo in the Upper East Side has been sold by Ben Shaoul for $15.3 million in Bitcoin. The 11,400-square-foot living space was owned by the landlord’s firm Magnum Real Estate Group. The company is converting rentals in the 389 Easy 89th Street into condos. It all happened earlier this month, with the buyer being the Taiwanese entity Affluent Silver International LLC.
The Transaction Was Completed in Bitpay and Starr
The two parties of the selling agreement have used Bitpay and Starr in order to complete the transaction. The Jet Real Estate broker Eric Hedvat, who was a representative for Magnum, said that the process was “seamless”, while Shaoul refused to make any comments.
Magnum Has Used Bitcoin for Transactions Before
It’s not the first time that Magnum has gone into a contract with buyers and used Bitcoin transfers. Last year, they sold a 624-square foot space for $875,000 in Bitcoin and a 989-square-foot unit priced at $1.48 million. Shaoul previously said he would accept Bitcoin payments for his 62 Avenue B residential spaces in Alphabet City, but he ended up selling the unfinished building to Martin Shapiro for $82 million last year.
Digital Currencies Not Yet Widely Accepted in Real Estate
Since digital currencies and Bitcoin are continuing to have their value fluctuate, and they’re not accepted by many Real Estate sellers. Only over the last year, Bitcoin has had its value ranging from just above $3,000 to $12,000. However, New York sellers are starting to use it more and more. For example, the Brooklyn rental management company ManageCo has announced last year that it accepts cryptocurrency as payment.
Digital money is starting to be welcomed for the priciest listings, like the 10 East 76th Street on the Upper East Side, for which Corcoran is marketing a $29 million mansion and states that the seller accepts Bitcoin, Ripple or Ethereum as payment. A mansion that Sotheby’s is marketing at 40 Riverside Drive is priced at $13 million, with the seller accepting Bitcoin. Since New York’s Real Estate market is already embracing digital currencies, it can be expected others to do it too.