Selling a home in bitcoins poses a number of inconveniences for notaries. Photo: Pixabay
Cryptocurrencies are all the rage. Ethereum, cardano or binance coin are some of the more than 9,000 digital currencies that exist today, but without a doubt the bitcoins are the best known and most used cryptocurrencies. The surprising revaluation that it has had in the last twelve months (it has gone from costing about $ 9,000 to the 50,000 that it is trading at at the time of writing this article) has skyrocketed its popularity and, although it remains a mainly speculative currency, each time is more common buy and sell things with bitcoins. Butit is possible to sell a house in bitcoins in Spain? In this article we answer this question.
Selling a house in ‘bitcoins’ is rare, but possible
You can sell a home in Spain with bitcoins and it is legal to do so, but from the Apivirtual real estate platform they warn us that this is not a legal tender in the country and that the sale of a home, in its definition, implies the transmission of a property in exchange for a currency accepted in the legal course. In this way, More than a sale, we would be talking about a swap: the seller hands over the house and in return receives another asset that is given a value, which in this case is bitcoin.
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Thus, the notary can accept this type of operation because the law clearly allows that the payment of a property can be made by other means or different goods upon delivery of money in euros, but for the transaction with bitcoins to be formalized in writing, the price of the house must be indicated in euros. This is because in no way can a floor be notarized in a currency that is not linked to a central bank and bitcoins are not.
It must also be taken into account that another of the requirements for this operation to take place is that the buyer demonstrates the legal origin of the funds to comply with the anti-money laundering law. This is one of the reasons why notaries, in general, are somewhat reluctant to accept these types of transactions, since it is difficult for them to fulfill their obligations to avoid money laundering. A large part of the buyers willing to buy a house in bitcoins are foreigners, so it is difficult to prove the origin of the cryptocurrency.
How to set the price of the house in ‘bitcoins’?
Keep in mind that One of the great risks that this type of operation presents is that the value of the bitcoin can fluctuate a lot in the market. The Bank of Spain and the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) have already warned about the risk of operating with cryptocurrencies, considering that they are covered with extreme volatility and lack of transparency. Just yesterday bitcoin suffered a fall, due to Tesla’s decision not to accept payments with this cryptocurrency. In this way, it must be borne in mind that these types of operations are high risk.
To mitigate the effects of bitcoin volatility, the Apivirtual real estate platform tells us that it is advisable in these cases to agree in advance with the buyer the price of the house in euros, since this currency is more stable, but then accept the equivalent figure in bitcoins at the time of exchange at the notary’s office (according to the value it has at that time). Thus, possible fluctuations in the cryptocurrency are prevented from affecting our interests.