Forsyth Real Estate, the 115-year-old agency on Sydney’s north shore, has begun accepting bitcoin for house deposits and property advertising. Forsyth is the first real estate agency in Australia to accept the virtual cryptocurrency.
They are offering this payment service to their clients through a partnership with the Australian bitcoin payments provider CoinJar. This Melbourne-based company, founded in 2013 by Asher Tan and Ryan Zhao, will process any bitcoin payments made to the company. Forsyth became a supporter of the sometimes volatile currency because it allows overseas transactions with less lees and exchange rate fluctuations.
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"Prior to launching, we had discussions with our financial division who outlined the risks and opportunities of bitcoin and we were happy with our findings," said James Snodgrass, Forsyth managing director. By offering another avenue for online payment, the agency has opened the door for more international investors and expats entering the prominent Sydney housing market.
The volatility of the currency has kept many other companies and real estate agencies at bay. Anthony Walls, the director of Max Walls International Real Estate in Manly disagrees with the idea of the currency, seeing it as too risky a move for a company. Several questions have been raised about the future of bitcoin after Mt Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges was hacked and $548 million worth of bitcoins were stolen. The exchange, thought to handle up to 70 percent of the world’s bitcoin transactions, has since shut down.
Still, many companies are still beginning to accept the currency. Would you accept bitcoin at your business?