- One Bequia’s new development will turn the Bequia into a fully ‘Bitcoin-enabled’ luxury accommodation
- This is the nation’s solution to cope with the “derisking” issue
- Cryptocurrency payment for property purchases seems to be a great idea, but it has its own list of shortcomings
The beautiful Caribbean island of Bequia, the second-largest island in the Grenadines, is going to become home to the world’s first crypto community, a “Crypto Island.” Launched not so long ago, One Bequia’s new development, expected by late 2024, will turn the island into a fully ‘Bitcoin-enabled’ luxury accommodation, reported The Telegraph.
One Bequia Development
The organizers will work with money service brokers to convert the received Bitcoin (BTC) to U.S. dollars, explained Storm Gonsalves. He is one Bequia’s developer and son of Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). The crypto accepting facility is the SVG, a 32-island nation’s solution to cope with the “derisking” issue. The increasing detachment of small island nations from “mainstream banking facilities” and subsequently, the “international trade and commerce” has pushed many Caribbean countries to “adopt blockchain and other cryptocurrencies” faster than most developed nations.
The Future Is Bitcoin
According to Gonsalves, so far, most One Bequia inquiries have been made by “early technology adopters” in their mid-20s to mid-50s. Besides resolving the banking issues, turning Bequia into a “Crypto island” is also a way to educate a broader audience that “bitcoin is the future of property buying.”
In contrast to the majority beliefs, developer Nick Candy perceives Bitcoin as “a big opportunity.” He is even excited to have a crypto buyer for his £175 million ($247.6 million) penthouse at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge.
Old Vs. New Money
However, most agents and vendors in London’s prime market are still distrustful of online currency. Arlington Residential director, Marc Schneiderman shared, a mid-20s buyer, who’d just sold his “shares in a gaming company for several tens of millions of dollars,” suggested paying in BTC for a large penthouse in central London. However, the vendor, “a very successful equities trader” in his late 60s, declined, as “he felt it too erratic a currency.” So far, a Notting Hill house has been the only recorded crypto property purchase in London. Address Property Consultants’ Silvina Paz finds it hard to imagine crypto as a “standard” property payment means.
According to Paz, the market mostly prefers “clean,” “transparent,” and “easy to understand” transactions, and “bitcoin attracts all sorts of negative connotations.” With added layers of complexity, there’s also the risk of volatility. Amid Elon Musk’s Tesla suspending Bitcoin as a payment option and China’s stricter laws curbing online trade, BTC already lost over 30% in one day. As an Argentinian well-versed with volatile currencies, Paz finds it “quite likely” for the BTC value to “change between the offer being accepted, the deal exchanged and finally completion.” Thus, bitcoin as payment requires “some mechanism,” where regardless of the value shift, the transaction takes place in “a fixed amount in Sterling or dollars.”
Bitcoin Is Here To Stay
Meanwhile, major luxury London market players, including Rhodium founder and CEO Dean Main, accept that cryptocurrencies are the future. The majority shareholder of a management company holding £11 billion ($15.57 billion) of super-prime London property, Main believes, “Bitcoin is here to stay,” but is wary of cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, that began as a joke and is worth over $85 billion today. Moreover, while Main would prefer to convert the received crypto payments “straight away,” he’s open to renters who make money out of it. In his words, “I want to keep my audience open.”
According to the FCA, over 4% of the U.K. population owns cryptocurrency, signifying a payment trend applicable to a “significant number of high net worth clients” crucial to real estate businesses too, said Katharine Wooller, managing director UK & Ireland at Dacxi. Wooller sums blockchain technologies as “an interesting solution to inefficiencies in property transaction, asset management and payment infrastructure.” There have been many such cases; Prime Purchase director Guy Meacock is assisting an Australian spend £10 million ($14 million) of his crypto-earned wealth on a London property, and Adam Deering of Deerbank Capital recently helped an investor from Surrey buy land in Barbados with bitcoin.
Why Go Through The Hassle?
But on the same note, Charles Curran, chairman at Maskells Estate Agency in Chelsea, is still not convinced. He questioned, with difficulty in proving the source of the funds and the added volatility risks, why would a vendor go through that much trouble? He said, “Let the buyer convert it first and then pay in cash.”
With the population’s divided opinions, the battle between old and new money in the luxury property world has just begun.
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Andrew is a blockchain developer who developed his interest in cryptocurrencies while pursuing his post-graduation major in blockchain development. He is a keen observer of details and shares his passion for writing, along with coding. His backend knowledge about blockchain helps him give a unique perspective to his writing skills, and a reliable craft at explaining the concepts such as blockchain programming, languages and token minting. He also frequently shares technical details and performance indicators of ICOs and IDOs.