The amount of real estate transactions that involve cryptocurrency have risen lately, but real estate brokerage Culture Estate, in Scotch Plains, N.J., wants to go even further with digital transactions. One of the company’s agents, Manuela Londono-Osorio, recently accepted a commission check from the brokerage in the form of digital currency.
Culture Estate’s broker, Luis Leiva, says this is just the next step for what the brokerage plans to do by the year’s end. The big goal is to complete a transaction in which every party, including the agent and the seller, would receive payment in the form of cryptocurrency.
Although transactions between sellers and buyers using digital currency have been increasing, Leiva believes his brokerage is the first, or one of the first, in the United States to pay one of its agents with cryptocurrency.
Londono-Osorio’s real estate transaction was a normal one that involved an investment property, in which U.S. dollars were exchanged for the property. However, after the brokerage received its portion of the funds, it allocated Londono-Osorio’s commission directly into her digital wallet, where she could then convert it into the cryptocurrency of her choice. While Lonodo-Osorio might have had to wait several days before receiving the funds from a traditional paycheck, she was able to have the funds instantaneously deposited into her cryptowallet, which she believes is one of the positive aspects of accepting digital currency payments.
Although digital money is a little risky due to its fluctuating value, many people are willing to accept that risk. This includes Londono-Osorio, who began investing in digital currency as a sophomore in college back in 2014. She initially invested $1,000, mostly because other classmates were doing it. She wasn’t really sure if anything positive would actually come of it. However, her original investment ended up being worth $40,000 in mid-December of last year. Its value has gone up and down ever since then, but it hasn’t changed her positive opinion about cryptocurrency.
“Initially I didn’t understand the technology behind it. As more individuals join this community, I see this type of currency coming into real estate in a bigger way. Our brokerage wants to be an innovator in this space, and we have an opportunity to shine more light on the capabilities of cryptocurrency in the transferring of funds,” Londono-Osorio explains.