Why we’re joining the Bitcoin revolution
With cryptocurrency growing in use and popularity, Property Turkey is pleased to announce we’re rolling out Bitcoin purchases for a number properties on our portfolio, says director Cameron Deggin.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency - a digital currency using encryption techniques to regulate funds - that’s exploded in value and use since its 2009 inception. Bitcoin appeals to users because it’s bank-free and anonymous. With 100,000 merchants around the world accepting Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency can be used to buy everything from hotel rooms to pizzas, and of course, real estate.
Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet in the cloud, or on a user’s computer. The digital wallet is like a bank account, allowing users to complete transactions, pay for goods or save their money.
Bitcoin has been subject to fierce trading, and the price of the cryptocurrency skyrocketed into the thousands in 2017. Since then, its value has dropped. But its potential for anonymous, free transactions and international payments mean Bitcoin is most likely here to stay.
Why buy property with Bitcoin?
Buying property with Bitcoin cuts out banks, fees and time. In fact, it requires just one thing: for a buyer and seller to agree on exchanging Bitcoin for a property.
Property Turkey director Cameron Deggin says cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allow for faster transactions than ever before. “I think it will become a long-term means to buy property,” he says.
Once everything’s signed, the transaction takes around ten minutes, completed online or through an app, which means both ease and speed a significant draw for foreign buyers.
Some buyers will be hesitant to deal in the cryptocurrency as it isn’t legal tender. However, Deggin says this grey area works in its favour. “Bitcoin isn’t subject to the same rules and regulations of local currency, which appeals to some buyers.”
Buying property in Turkey with Bitcoin
Deggin says the introduction of Bitcoin as a way to buy Turkish real estate is a game changer, especially in the fast-moving Istanbul investment property sector.
Like others in his sector, Deggin realised the potential for Bitcoin in the real estate sector last year, when an Isle of Mann firm announced buyers would be able to buy units in its $325 million luxury Dubai development with the cryptocurrency. The Knox Group’s large residential project was the first on this scale available for purchase in the cryptocurrency.
It was a bold move, and everyone from estate agents to finance and economy experts sit up and take notice, because the move indicated that Bitcoin had moved away from being a novelty currency to gain mainstream acceptance.
The publicity surrounding the Dubai development meant a few investors began to question him about Property Turkey’s cryptocurrency policy - especially investors from China, Deggin said. “Chinese investors are investing in Turkey in ever-greater numbers now due to the Belt and Road Initiative, which is putting Turkey on the investment map”.
These investors are sitting on great reserves of US dollar, but with the dollar losing ground they’re looking for other alternatives: so real estate is a focus, as well as cryptocurrencies.
“When a couple of investors asked about Bitcoin, we thought, why not join the revolution?”
Property Turkey now has a number of properties available to purchase with Bitcoin, we’ve featured a few below. Deggin says this is just the start for the company, and eventually clients will be able to purchase any of Property Turkey’s properties using the cryptocurrency, from cheap villas in Turkey to apartments in Istanbul.
The conditions for Bitcoin purchases are currently as follows:
Bitcoin is available only for deposits or cash payments, not installments. Buyers can opt to pay the deposit using Bitcoins, and then pay any later installments in conventional currency.
When buying property in Turkey, buyers are required to make a US$1000 reservation, which ultimately makes up part of the deposit. The reservation must be paid in conventional currency, and the rest of the balance can be paid in Bitcoin.
Bitcoins are to be transferred to Property Turkey’s secured wallet. As soon as the transaction is completed, the property’s title deed is transferred to the buyer.
Turkish government stance on Bitcoin
The Turkish government views Bitcoin with skepticism, with many ministers not believing that cryptocurrencies have any part to play in future global trade. In 2013, Turkey announced that Bitcoin was not considered a currency, and the country’s Economy Minister has deemed it a “pyramid scheme.”
However, as more and more Turks begin trading in Bitcoin - 42,600 at the close of 2017, up from 9110 in May - and business from cafes to clinics begin accepting the currency, it’s likely the government will likely be forced to take Bitcoin seriously. Taxation is a big question mark, but first the government needs to decide whether Bitcoin is a commodity, or a currency.
“There is concern among buyers about Bitcoin’s lack of regulation, and a lack of understanding about Bitcoin taxation,” says Deggin. “While the government decides how it will tackle cryptocurrency, we’re treating Bitcoin purchases the same way as purchases made in lira, euros or dollars. So when the bitcoin transfer reaches our account, we convert it to Turkish lira using that day’s exchange rate, and pay taxes just as we would usually. This means purchases remain safe and above board.”
This is a selection of the properties we have available for Bitcoin purchase. Please contact us if you have any questions.