A newly-built 5,000-square-foot residential property situated at 707 Firdale St., Coquitlam, B.C. is going for $2.6 million in the local real estate listings—as well as for 2,099 bitcoin in Craigslist’s Vancouver and Hong Kong pages.
That sum of bitcoin is worth approximately $5 million, and real estate agent Mario Figliola—who had the house listed in the real estate market—stated that he is petitioning for the removal of the Craigslist ad, saying that it was an “honest mistake” by a friend.
“I was telling someone else how difficult it is now to sell a higher end house because the market has changed. There are more rules and regulations on taxes, like the foreign tax has come into effect,” Figliola told CBC News. “He heard that, I guess, and he said ‘I’m going to get you a buyer,’ so he posted an ad.”
“This person is not a Realtor. He was just trying to help out, I guess,” he added. Figliola declined to identify said friend, who listed the home on Craigslist on April 2.
Legal experts noted that using the digital currency as a fungible resource requires plenty of due diligence.
“[Real estate professionals] have to be aware of the Criminal Code,” according to lawyer Christine Duhaime, who focuses on counter-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering law.
“It prohibits them from taking bitcoin from a terrorist organization, a sanctioned country or organization or from taking money they know is associated with the commission of a serious offence anywhere in the world,” Duhaime explained, adding that real estate agents cannot accept bitcoin as payment.
Far-out Friday: Homes purchased with bitcoin