A co-living housing development in London says tenants can now pay their £500 deposit using the controversial crypto-currency Bitcoin and will also be able to use it to pay their rent later on this year.
This will make The Collective, which is an 11-storey 550-unit development in North Acton, the first in the UK to enable tenants to make payments with Bitcoin.
Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was the world’s first digital currency and works without a central administrator or ‘bank’. Instead, those using the currency download software onto their computers and then use the currency to buy products or services ‘peer-to-peer’ with other users.
The currency enables money to be moved around the world undetected by central banking or tax authorities and has therefore faced allegations of misuse, including by organised crime, cyber hackers and tax evaders.
Bitcoin Build to Rent
The currency has been chosen by The Collective at its recently-completed Build to Rent development called Old Oak because, it says, Bitcoin is the payment platform of choice among many of its overseas tenants.
Old Oak charges on average £1,083 a month for a small ‘twodio’ one-bedroom apartment (pictured, below) for a couple which includes a private bathroom but shared cooking and dining area.
Although the rent is high even for London, it’s inclusive of bills, council tax, access to a gym, a 24-7 on-site property management service and a cleaner every fortnight.
Residents also get access to larger communal kitchens, bookable dining rooms, roof terrace, a library and a games room.
“The rise and adoption of crypto-currency globally, particularly Bitcoin, is a fascinating development in how people store value and transact for goods and services worldwide,” says The Collective’s chief executive and founder, Reza Merchant (pictured, right)
“With many savers and investors now choosing and becoming more comfortable with crypto-currency, people will expect to be able to use it to pay for life’s essentials, including housing deposits and rent.”