A VACANT block of land at Port Lincoln offers the opportunity to make national real estate history as the first person to buy a property using bitcoin.
Parafield Gardens’ David and Tanya Wolverton, together with Tanya’s sister and brother-in-law, are selling Tanya’s late father’s Port Lincoln block to settle an estate.
The 855sqm block at 12b Smith St, Port Lincoln allotment can either be purchased for $79,550 to $87,500 through Harcourts Northgate or for $100,000 in bitcoin through Mr Wolverton. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency used in electronic transactions.
Its value fluctuates constantly, but at time of print one bitcoin was worth $14,294.50 Australian dollars.
Pastor Wolverton, who is the founding and senior pastor of Jesus Church at Salisbury, has invested in Bitcoin. He had faith the volatile currency was a solid long-term investment.
“There’s a four-year pattern of bitcoin going up in value and then dropping just at late December/early January and then recovering mid-to-late January and returning to where it had dropped from,” he said.
“Some people out there are panicking that they’ve got bitcoin that’s not going to be worth anything as experts are saying it’s going to drop to $7000 per coin, and we thought what a great opportunity for people who believe that to be able to swap what they think is becoming valueless for something valuable. We’ve got something we don’t want and it’s costing us money, and if someone out there has something they don’t want and they’re afraid it’s losing it’s value, why not swap?
“We believe this is a no-brainer, that’s our conviction and we’re willing to lose it if we’re wrong.”
Buying the block in Australian dollars through the real estate agent will incur stamp duty and transfer fees, but Pastor Wolverton says his higher bitcoin price includes these costs.
“In Australia, you can buy a Tesla car with bitcoin, and Microsoft software, and there are a growing number of companies who accept it, and it’s my conviction it’s just a matter of time before you can complete a whole house transaction using it,” he said.
Harcourts Northgate agent Ian Mead said it would be great if the property became the first in Australia to be traded for bitcoin. “That would be brilliant — if he can pull it off I take my hat off to him,” Mr Mead said.
Real Estate Institute of South Australia CEO Greg Troughton said he didn’t envisage people being able to pay sale transaction costs and taxes using cryptocurrencies any time soon. “I think at the moment this is more novel than anything and I’m not expecting a major consumer trend will flow from it,” he said.