An apartment in Portugal has changed hands, with the buyer paying directly in cryptocurrency in a reported first for the country. The home was purchased for 3 bitcoins without conversion to euros, under a new regulation permitting real estate deals with digital currencies.
A three-room (two-bedroom) apartment in the Portuguese city of Braga has been bought with cryptocurrency without any conversion to fiat money. Local media reports have described the deal as a first in the history of the country’s real estate market.
The new owner paid 3 bitcoins (BTC) for the home, worth around 110,000 euros at the time the purchase took place. The title deed was transferred in Porto’s Póvoa de Varzim district this past Thursday, May 5, the business news portal Idealista unveiled.
The purchase was made with the help of real estate agency Zome, the law firm Antas da Cunha Ecija, and partners from Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. The Chairman of the Portuguese chamber of notaries also participated.
Buying property directly with cryptocurrency is now possible in Portugal thanks to a new provision recently adopted by the Order of Notaries, the body which regulates notary activities together with the Ministry of Justice.
In the past, the coins had to be converted to euros before a payment to a seller was made. Now, the real estate acquisition can be a 100% crypto operation, in which the digital money is exchanged for the rights to the property.
Certain procedures must be followed to conduct such sales, to comply with anti-money laundering rules. The source of the fiat funds — a bank account — with which the digital assets were purchased, has to be indicated and the public address of the crypto wallet presented, before the coins are transferred.
News of the crypto-funded property deal comes after a recent report by the Bank of Spain revealed that Portugal’s share in the volume of crypto transactions in the eurozone exceeds the weight of its gross domestic product (GDP) in the single currency area’s economy.
With relatively affordable costs of living and a crypto-friendly tax regime, Portugal has become a hub for tech innovations, a home for digital nomads and most recently for refugees from Ukraine’s crypto sector. Gains from the sale of bitcoin and the like are not subject to income tax in the country.
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