With the world’s first Bitcoin ATM installed and doing great business in a Vancouver coffee shop and the announcement a Vancouver-based eyewear company is taking Bitcoin payment, it makes sense for one of the Lower Mainland’s top realtors to announce he will now be accepting his commission in Bitcoins.
“You can’t ignore the affect Bitcoins are having on the economy right now,” says Mayur Arora, Vancouver realtor and founder of One Flat Fee. “Canada is Bitcoin friendly and it makes sense for me to accept Bitcoin payment for my commissions.”
Bitcoins were introduced in 2009, a digital form of currency that relies on complex mathematical online formulas to unlock each of the 21 million Bitcoins in existence. It is known as a “cryptocurrency” which can gain (and therefore potentially also lose!) large percentages in value quickly.
In November 2013, the price of a single Bitcoin quadrupled in price from $250 to $1,000 a coin in a few weeks. Currently, one Bitcoin is worth around $900.
“I might be the first realtor and brokerage in Canada to do this, but I would expect others to follow my lead,” says Arora. “Bitcoins can’t be ignored as a currency, particularly in the real estate business.”
It’s not the first time Arora has been the first out of the gate with new business initiatives. His OneFlatFee.ca broke the mould as the only realty brokerage giving sellers the opportunity to pay a single flat fee to their agent in exchange for a menu of services, rather than a percentage of their sale price.
While some markets are not as receptive to Bitcoin, North America is seen as open to the virtual currency, especially to investors from Asia who view Bitcoins as a valuable commodity like gold or silver. With a high percentage of immigrants moving from China to Western Canada, the ability to use Bitcoins as part of realtor commission payments will be an attractive option.
Image: Bitcoin via Shutterstock