The owner of a penthouse flat in London says he is willing to accept the cryptocurrency Bitcoin – providing the buyer can afford the £5.5m price tag, of course.
Bitcoin is a new kind of currency which can be stored digitally; because it has no central authority or there are no physical banks that handle it, its use until now has presented difficulties for those ensuring transactions abide by anti-money laundering and tax requirements.
It has also been associated in some cases with illegal transactions, although the estate agency behind this new sale – of a property on the Albert Embankment – is undeterred.
“Paying with Bitcoins is much quicker, more efficient and easier than going through centralized banks, which require unnecessary over-regulation. This is a great opportunity to purchase one of the top flats in London” according to Sotheby’s International Realty Associate spokesman John W. Chang, who is handling the sale.
Despite the challenge that the currency presents to estate agents and tax authorities, this is not actually the first time that Bitcoin has reared its head on the London market.
Last month the vendor of a £17m property in Notting Hill was reported to say that he would accept only Bitcoin from any prospective purchaser.