In late October, 2013, the first bitcoin ATM in Canada was unveiled at Waves Coffee Shop in downtown Vancouver, BC. On that day, one bitcoin was worth about $200. Today, less than three months later, a bitcoin is worth about $917. Actually, to be specific, at 7pm PST on January 16, 2014, the bitcoin was worth $917.30. I really do have to be specific about the time in case there are fact checkers out there. The value at end of today could be significantly different than the value right now.
Given that volatility, it was interesting that earlier today Global News reported that Quantum Properties, a developer located in Abbotsford, will accept bitcoins for deposits on property purchases of their residential developments. Quantum is not aware of any other developers accepting bitcoins, so they are certainly forging a new path in real estate. Diane Delves, the president and CEO of Quantum, believes that bitcoins are the way of the future and she's willing to accept the volatility in her business model.
Bitcoins are a virtual unofficial currency. They are on a long road towards credibility and acceptability in mainstream currency markets. They are complicated (at first blush) and traditionally were a "bit" shady, pardon the pun. Bitcoins originally made headlines by being the currency of choice for Silk Road, an illegal online black market, which has since been shut down.
The recent arrival of the bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, followed by the annoucement today by Quantum, shows that bitcoins are here to stay. The bitcoin ATM is relatively simple to use and newbies to virtual currency can watch an instructional video on Youtube before venturing to Waves. The Vancouver bitcoin ATM transactions are limited by Canadian government regulations to $3,000 per day, making the machine is a bit impractical for real estate purchases.
However; Quantum and other forward thinking real estate brokers and developers can open up a bitcoin wallet account by providing the appropriate documentation and entering the virtual unofficial currency world. Online bitcoin transactions are relatively quick and the fees are fairly insignificant. Bold move Quantum!