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Abbotsford real estate developer accepts bitcoins on condo deposits

Bitcoins are a digital currency, but some people have taken to creating physical bitcoins as a collector
Bitcoins are a digital currency, but some people have taken to creating physical bitcoins as a collector's item. Physical coins typically contain a code redeemable for one electronic bitcoin.
— image credit: Some rights reserved by flickr user antanacoins

An Abbotsford real estate developer announced Wednesday that it will accept bitcoins for deposits on its condominiums.

"I've been fascinated with bitcoin for a while. I follow it online and I just believe this has become a more accepted form of currency. We like to try to provide options for our buyers. It just seemed like a good thing to do," said Quantum Properties president and CEO Diane Delves.

Bitcoin is a purely electronic currency created by computer scientists in June 2011. In the last three months, the coin quadrupled in value, skyrocketing from about $200 for one bitcoin in Nov. 2013 to over $900 today.

Quantum Properties will allow clients to pay their condo deposits, typically 10–15 per cent of the home sale price, in bitcoins. The company currently lists Abbotsford properties starting at $129,900.

Bitcoins have been on a meteoric rise recently. Is Delves concerned about the price crashing?

"We're not going to expose ourselves to undue risk, so we will probably convert a lot of the bitcoin into Canadian dollars…but we intend to hold some as an investment," she said. "It is fairly new. We don't really expect to sell 10 condos with bitcoin this week. But on the other hand, this is an ongoing thing."

The company holds one bitcoin so far.

Delves said that she has not had any clients mention a desire to pay in bitcoins. However, she insists the move is an "ongoing business decision" and not just a publicity stunt, although she admits it has generated a lot of public interest.

"The digital currency, I really believe that this is the way of the future. I think we're a little ahead of the curve on this, but it's coming and I think you'll see wider acceptance of the currency as more people become informed about it."

When at Quantum's Vancouver office, Delves frequents the neighbouring Waves Coffee House that happens to have the world's first bitcoin ATM.

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