Three-time REB auctioneer finalist James Pratt is set to make a new industry precedent in April, when he will conduct a live cryptocurrency real estate auction, thought to be a first for Australia.
Mr Pratt, CEO of James Pratt Auctions Group, will collaborate with international firms NuYen Blockchain Corp and Binance to offer interested bidders the opportunity to purchase a luxury beachfront property on the NSW north coast, using either bitcoin or Binance Coin cryptocurrency.
The property, dubbed “the Jetsons house” because of its futuristic style, comes with a price guide of 700–800 bitcoins, equivalent to $3.5 million.
LJ Hooker Kingscliff’s Nick Witheriff is the local listing agent.
Mr Witheriff said the response has been “enormous” from international buyers leading up to the auction.
“It’s been non-stop with enquirers from buyers across the world, from Asia to USA to China,” he said.
President and COO of NuYen Blockchain Corp Greg Costello said that investors hold more than US$135.4 billion of wealth in cryptocurrency globally, according to CoinMarketCap data for 15 March 2019.
He said that a single bitcoin was worth US$3,883.38, or AU$5,401.21, at the close of that date.
“All this money in bitcoin is stranded in some ways because it is hard to spend,” Mr Costello said.
“If you hold large amounts of bitcoin you might feel rich, but your options for actually spending it can be limited. Until now, it has been hard to use bitcoin to buy large assets like real estate.
“One of NuYen’s pillars is its internal trading desk for institutional products and services, over-the-counter transactions and, indeed, luxury asset sales such as this property.”
Mr Pratt said that on auction day, the bids will be called in bitcoin.
“A large screen will display the current bitcoin bid and its Australian dollar equivalent,” he said.
He said that this is not the first time he has pioneered innovative auction platforms. In 2016, he was involved in an Australian live Facebook auction and has been rapidly building a name within celebrity real estate in the United States.
The auction is set to take place onsite on 8 April 2019 at 11am, with onsite bidders required to RSVP prior to the day.