Chinese citizens holding Bitcoin now have the option to purchase some real estate in London, UK.
Founded in October of last year, London-based Cai-Capital, has announced that it is the first broker in the British capital to accept Bitcoin as payment for real estate purchases.
The property investment company makes it clear that it is geared towards investors from China, where the government’s foreign exchange restrictions could potentially create an entire market of people looking to invest their Bitcoin into real estate abroad, far from Beijing’s prying eye.
Chairman and managing director of Cai-Capital Richard Mathieson, stated:
"We believe that [China] could be a large market, simply because of the [mainland's] currency restriction."
China, which comprises roughly 10% of the world Bitcoin market as well as two of the top three world exchanges (BTC China and OKCoin), could soon have many disgruntled users with digital coins burning a hole in their pocket.
Cai-Capital confirms that they are already advising two Hong Kong buyers who are interested in purchasing properties in London using Bitcoin. Mathieson said one of his Hong Kong clients was buying a London home for £1 million (2,826 BTC) and the other was purchasing a flat for £750,000 (2,103 BTC). Buyers are assured that their coins are safe as Cai-Capital creates a digital wallet, which is stored offline and encrypted and password-protected for buyers looking to purchase a home with Bitcoin.
Keith Stukins, director of Cai-Capital, states that his company offers customers a great Bitcoin investment opportunity to acquire prime real estate overseas and explains how the transaction takes place:
“The Bitcoins would be converted through the Acquire CC Exchange, which is registered in the Channel Islands. Developers would not receive Bitcoin but would take the converted currency - in this case, pounds.”
Experts, such as the head of the finance and insolvency department at Deacon’s, Simon Deane, affirm that using Bitcoin to buy properties abroad would technically circumvent foreign exchange controls. “However, the buyers need to find a vendor who is willing to accept payment in Bitcoin first,” Deane said.
Recently, Beijing has cracked down on cryptocurrencies by banning the largest banking corporation in the country, the ICBC, from using its accounts for any Bitcoin-related activities. Thus, the current regulatory climate for investors in China is hazy if not outright hostile. Undoubtedly, the cat-and-mouse game between virtual currencies Chinese authorities will continue for some time; however, Chinese investors should not be deterred as they now have yet another option in which to invest their digital coins.