At a series of online auctions ending October 30, Aussies will be allowed to buy real estate property with Bitcoin, thanks to a Queensland-based auction house.
Lloyds Auctions is keen on cultivating an image of ‘digital disruptor’ and has already hosted online auctions in the NFT space – as well as all the other auction-ey stuff like cars, art and diamonds. The website hosts everything from small household items to large, well, houses.
If you log into Lloyds right now, perhaps to bid on a Qld mansion currently going for a cool $2.6 million, you’ll still be bidding with AUD as your frame of reference. But the auction house is promising to accept Bitcoin as payment, and is hoping this will attract newer users who otherwise might not be interested in the property market.
According to Lee Hames, chief operating officer at Lloyds, “The use of cryptocurrency as a payment method is becoming more commonly used for purchases as confidence surrounding cryptocurrency gets stronger.”
Lloyds announced earlier this year it was allowing bidders to use the digital coin in lieu of physical cash.
At the time of announcing its crypto foray, one shopper had already dropped a small fortune ($100,000) in cryptocurrency on a caravan.
We’ve reached out to Lloyds to get details on how it plans to deal with Bitcoin’s volatility, and will update this post if and when they respond. Safe to say, though, there are no easy solutions.
As an auction house operating online, it promises a ‘gazump-free’ experience – gazumping, now my new favourite word, is the practice of a seller agreeing to one price and then demanding more money or raising the minimum after proceedings have already started.
But if a purchase is locked in and Bitcoin plummets (or goes to the moon), someone is getting unintentionally gazumped. Who knows what shenanigans are possible with property cooling-off periods – someone might back out because the market rate of Bitcoin is no longer favourable. A gazump and dump.
These are the problems the world will have to work out eventually, but one does wonder if maybe a stablecoin like USDT might do the trick here more than something volatile. With a purchase as large as a property, Ethereum’s normally ludicrous gas fees seem trivial. Bitcoin, meanwhile, has looked like this in the last four months:
It’s a system that seems to present risk to both buyers and sellers. But if El Salvador can do it, then dammit so can we. Throughout October, bids are starting at $1, which is currently 0.00001331 Bitcoin, subject to change. Lots and lots of change.