Many investors have made money trading in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin; however, cryptocurrencies are still considered very volatile. Although cryptocurrency is certainly increasing in popularity with the public, banks, financial institutions, and governments still don’t have a clear plan as to how they intend to deal with ‘crypto’.
But with so many people now reportedly making money from cryptocurrency, it sort of begs the question – can you buy a property with Bitcoin?
Cryptocurrency for a Mortgage?
Spain has been one of the first countries to make an early move into the Cryptocurrency space with respect to real estate. Last year the Spanish government introduced a new law to allow borrowers to use digital assets to pay their mortgages.
As far as we are aware there are still no banks that will accept Bitcoin as a deposit for a mortgage, so you won’t be able to use Bitcoin for a mortgage deposit. However, there is nothing stopping you from selling your Bitcoin into hard currency and then using that currency for a deposit.
However, one of the biggest issues for UK financial institutions is AML (Anti-Money Laundering) laws, which require purchasers to demonstrate a clear paper trail as to how the funds were acquired. Many people will find this difficult with cryptocurrency because it is very difficult to show a clear source of funds that banks will find acceptable.
UK Banks which accept cryptocurrency
Whilst banks in the UK may not accept your property deposit in cryptocurrency. According to bitcourier.co.uk there are six banks in the UK that are crypto-friendly.
- Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – you can use their credit and debit cards to buy crypto and withdraw or deposit to exchanges freely.
- Standard Chartered Bank – have recently announced plans for a cryptocurrency custody and trading desk.
- Nationwide – supports debit card purchases and also lets customer withdraw or deposit freely to cryptocurrency exchanges.
- TSB Bank – allow credit and debit card crypto purchases.
- Barclays – Barclays is one of the biggest investment banks in the UK that is particularly interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Can you use Cryptocurrency as income?
At the moment most banks will not accept cryptocurrency as income, this is principally for two reasons:
- Volatility – cryptocurrency is highly volatile, so many banks will consider that the value of the digital currency you are relying on for income could change rapidly.
- Anti-Money Laundering Rules – it is very difficult for owners of crypto to be able to demonstrate the source of their funds and therefore its legitimacy.
So at the moment if your main form of income is derived from cryptocurrency, you will find it very difficult to obtain a mortgage.
Are Cryptocurrency Mortgages coming?
The simple answer is yes! The reality is that cryptocurrency is here to stay and will increasingly become mainstream. If traditional high street banks don’t provide their customers mortgage products, then others will step in to provide these services. In fact, there are already companies in the US that are starting to provide services to owners of cryptocurrency the first one being Milo.
Important notice: Proptech Pioneer and its associated companies seek to provide real estate investors with guides, information and tools, but we cannot guarantee this information to be accurate or perfect. You use the information at your own risk and accept no liability if you rely on this information. Proptech Pioneer is not a tax advisor, accountant conveyancer, lawyer, financial advisor or mortgage advisor. You should seek independent advice from independent professionals before making any investment decision.