As Bitcoin becomes more pervasive and wallets/exchanges and regulators solidify money-laundering control measures, the cryptocurrency is now being used for real estate transactions. Since FinCEN has renewed its Geographic Targeting Order (GTO), real estate firms may be able to leverage the use of Bitcoin for additional information to establish source of funds for certain reportable transactions. Partnerships with licensed Bitcoin exchanges could provide an opportunity for real estate firms to meet evolving GTO requirements with regards to transaction reporting and beneficial ownership.
However, uncertainty remains on how regulators will treat the price fluctuations and potential indirect cash transactions at the point of sale. What we do know is that regulated Bitcoin platforms can provide a valuable source of information and line of defense to mitigate AML-related risks.
Bitcoin is already in retail and restaurants — so it was only a matter of time before the cryptocurrency took on real estate. That time is now. Bitcoin is slowly making its way into closings on everything from Lake Tahoe land in California to Manhattan condos to single-family homes in the heart of Texas. "Our buyer has evolved, they've moved from mom and pops to young people who want to pay with various forms of payment," said Ben Shaoul, president of Magnum Real Estate Group.