TROY, N.Y. — One local cryptocurrency enthusiast is hoping to make the first Bitcoin-based real estate transaction in upstate New York.
With the recent rise in Bitcoin’s value and a strong area real estate market, veteran crypto holder Paul Paterakis is now accepting Bitcoin for property he’s selling in Troy.
The two-family residential home, located at 2336 15th St. in “The Hill” neighborhood of Troy, is listed at $170,000 or approximately 5 Bitcoins.
The current price of 1 Bitcoin is valued at more than $34,000, at the time of publication. The exact price of the property in Bitcoin will be determined by market value at the time of sale.
Paterakis first started accepting Bitcoin in 2014 at his Coffeetime@Hellasbakery (CT@HB) coffee shops in the Capital Region. A techie customer base paid for coffee and pastries exclusively in this newly created currency.
The CT@HB location in downtown Albany was also the first establishment to host a Bitcoin ATM in New York state.
Paterakis closed down his coffee shops in 2015 to focus on financial tech.
“This industry has been growing consistently and we are now in the maturing phase of this decade-old technology,” Paterakis said in a press release, noting that Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) recently purchased more than $100 million in Bitcoin, according to a story on www.bloomberg.com.
“The price of Bitcoin has increased immensely over the last few weeks due to institutional investments and a hedge against economic uncertainty,” Paterakis continued.
Bitcoin holders can also buy a vehicle in the Capital Region, at East Greenbush car dealership Michael’s Auto Plaza. This local business began accepting Bitcoin in late 2017 and, even as the rate fluctuates, it has seen a steady flow of Bitcoin purchases ever since.
In the past few years, the dealership has sold about one car every month or couple months to customers using Bitcoin, according to Michael’s Auto Plaza sales manager Michael Severance, who noted that these customers hail from both near and far.
“With it rising again, I think we’re going to start to see an even bigger influx, in my opinion,” Severance said, sharing that a few shoppers he’s spoken with recently are waiting to see if the value continues to grow before making their purchase.
Originally, the folks at Michael’s Auto Plaza decided to embrace Bitcoin to offer a different form of purchase to potential customers. “It’s an extra avenue, and an extra tool to be able to sell a customer a vehicle,” Severance said. “It’s not always the conventional financing that somebody needs to do, or they’re just spending their own hard-earned cash basically for a vehicle. Now they have another avenue, which is the cryptocurrency.”
As Bitcoin has increased in popularity over the past few years, the dealership’s management team is glad they took the cryptocurrency leap when they did.
Looking ahead, “It’s coming to the market a lot more, and it’s going to be a lot more mainstream, I think,” Severance said. “It’s an evolving industry.”
Bitcoin transactions are safer than credit cards and faster than Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transactions such as electronic payments and automated money transfers, the press release said.
Furthermore, they use a proof of work blockchain to cut out the middleman in terms of fees, the release continued, sharing that a Bitcoin transfer of $200,000 would cost approximately $10 in a miner’s fee. Miners, the release explained, are computers around the world which solve complex algorithms in order to secure the Bitcoin network by validating transactions.
In addition to his business dealings involving Bitcoin, Paterakis has set up Bitcoin donations while working on local political campaigns, arranged for the Ronald McDonald House of the Capital Region to accept Bitcoin donations and coordinated the purchase of more than 500 pizza slices that were delivered to The Bernard and Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.
The listing for Paterakis’ Troy property can be viewed online at https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2336-15th-St-Troy-NY-12180/32235713_zpid/.