KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market
Real Estate

Lake Tahoe getaway sells for $1.6 million in bitcoins

A Lake Tahoe home sold last week for $1.6 million in bitcoins, a likely record in terms of sales price using the virtual currency, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It's also the latest in a string of residential real estate transactions in the past year that have used the virtual currency.

The buyer's name has yet to be released, described only as a "Silicon Valley entrepreneur" by Brian Hull, director of sales for Martis Camp, a private luxury recreational resort where the property is located. The home sits on 1.4 acres and offers mountain views of the Pacific Crest.

Reportedly, it was the buyer's idea to purchase the property using bitcoins.

"When we originally heard the idea of bitcoin, everybody had a little pause," Hull told The Wall Street Journal. "We weren't educated at how the transaction would go."

The virtual currency was introduced in 2009 and is not backed by a central bank or government. It's traded online through unregulated Internet exchanges. The value can fluctuate greatly. For example, in late 2013, the price of a bitcoin topped $1,100. Currently, it's about $590.

"As far as I know, this would definitely be a record breaker" for a publicly disclosed property sale using bitcoins, says Alan Silbert, CEO of BitPremier, a website that sells luxury items in exchange for bitcoins.

In March, a buyer paid more than $500,000 (or about 800 bitcoins) for a home in Bali. In May, buyers paid about $500,000 in bitcoins for a home in suburban Kansas City.

But many consumers are still cautious about using the currency when it comes to a big purchase like real estate. In Las Vegas, a real estate developer was asking $7.85 million for his home in bitcoins, but he has since removed the property from the market.

Top Stories

  • LIVE: Seahawks Chat
    Join 710 ESPN Seattle for a live chat during the Seahawks-Cardinals game

  • Week In Photos
    This week's heart-stopping photos from around the world
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Listen to the show
Hear Real Estate Today on KIRO Radio
Join Tom Kelly every Sunday at 9am on KIRO Radio to talk Puget Sound real estate.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.