– The Chinese Can Now Buy Real Estate and the Dutch Can Order Food Online with Bitcoin (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Nov 9, 2013):
Understandably, pretty much all of the focus on Bitcoin as of late has been on price appreciation considering the extraordinary move it has undergone. Specifically, it has quadrupled in value from the post Silk Road shutdown lows a little over a month ago. While understandable, it’s a bit unfortunate at the same time. The focus on price is taking away from the great strides being made in its acceptance, and at the end of the day, it is acceptance that gives ultimate value to Bitcoin not buyers and sellers. In that spirit, I want to highlight two recent significant early adopters of Bitcoin, both overseas.
While I reported in April on a NYC landlord accepting bitcoin for rental payments, in China you can now buy property with bitcoin.
More from Finextra:
Bitcoin acceptance in China has now extended into real estate with a residential developer in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech park in Shanghai finding a new way to promote sales through the acceptance of Bitcoin virtual currency.
As part of the promotion, Shanda accepted Bitcoins for payment. Although the exchange rate was ‘fixed’ at 1,000 Chinese Yuan (CNY) to one Bitcoin and the developer reserved the right to adjust the rate, the deal represents one of the first times that Bitcoin could be used for such a large scale ‘public’ purchase. The exchange rate was about 1,200 CNY : 1 Bitcoin on BTCChina that day, so the developer was obviously trying to hedge a bit in case Bitcoin fell through, but considering the rate is rapidly reaching nearly 2,000 CNY : 1 Bitcoin, it would have been a great deal for the developer – Bitcoin is one of the few investments in China that has been increasing faster than real estate in 2013.
The current run-up in the price of Bitcoin is an indicator of the interest in the currency, but is likely largely due to speculation. However, examples like this property development show how Bitcoin could be used for non-speculative purposes in nearly every industry. Regular bank transactions to pay for property would typically involve a stack of paperwork and likely a solid afternoon in the bank. With Bitcoin, the transaction could be completed in minutes.
Additionally, the 10th biggest Dutch online retailer now accepts Bitcoin. The company handles payments for around 5,000 restaurants and on its first day accepting BTC, it processed 250 Bitcoin transactions.
More from Coindesk:
The Netherlands’ 10th biggest online retailer Thuisbezorgd.nl, a brand owned by takeaway.com, the European-wide food ordering and delivery website, has just announced it is now accepting payment in bitcoins.
The company has around 5,000 restaurants for which they take care of the order processing and payment. According to marketing manager Imad Qutob, it processes about one million orders each month.
Takeaway.com currently operates in nine different countries and their Dutch, German and Austrian takeaways are all slated to accept bitcoin. The company declined to respond directly to questions on whether it would expand its bitcoin service to Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, the UK and Vietnam, although it did suggest that it seemed like the logical thing to do.
Yesterday, the first day the company started taking bitcoin orders, they processed 250 bitcoin transactions out of about 30,000 orders in total.
While the rise in the bitcoin price has certainly been parabolic, the total market capitalization of all the bitcoins in existence is still only $4 billion. If significant acceptance such as the above continues to take place, the value of the Bitcoin network currently will seem like a meaningless drop in the bucket in retrospect.