For months “Gustavo” invested all his capital in a cryptocurrency project that he trusted. In Venezuela, he started buying PancakeSwap (CAKE) when it cost less than $ 6. Eight weeks later, and already with a price of 36 dollars, he sold everything. The operations, although risky, left him an important profit that he decided to invest again, but this time in another area: the real estate market.
The trader The Venezuelan had in mind to buy a house in Ciudad Bolívar, located about 600 kilometers southeast of Caracas. His intention was to offer his children a better quality of life. However, there was a problem. All the funds were held on the Binance exchange, on the stablecoin Tether (USDT), and I did not know of any real estate that accepted bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
Most of the real estate brokers he consulted operated through international bank accounts or cash currencies. He also learned of cases in which they accepted transfers in bolivars, the national currency of Venezuela, although in a much smaller proportion due to hyperinflation.
The option to use banking services was ruled out by the user stating that, due to the amount of the transaction (about $ 12,000), it was likely that their accounts would be blocked. “There are many banking restrictions with amounts in bolivars, in addition, it was going to lose a lot of time,” added the merchant.
“A friend told me that there was a real estate company that accepted cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. I found out and it was true. I contacted them to find out how the negotiation could be done. Already being aware of everything, we used our Binance accounts to close the deal “,” Gustavo “explained to CriptoNoticias.
The case of trader is similar to dozens of bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts, cryptocurrency miners, and even Axie Infinity players who are also investing in Venezuela’s battered real estate market. It would be young people who decided not to emigrate and who would be taking profits in the current bull market for bitcoin.
Bitcoin transactions are kept private
This new reality of buying and selling homes with cryptocurrencies is known by the Real Estate Chamber of Venezuela. Its president, Francisco López, told CriptoNoticias that operations with digital assets are appearing more and more. The problem, according to the executive, is that they are not so common yet and those that are made are kept private.
“Right now we do not have the capacity to determine how many operations have been made with cryptocurrencies. They are usually private transactions that are not reported. I think it is a world to explore, a wave that has reached Venezuela. We see a lot of ads from real estate agencies that accept cryptocurrencies. That is another important issue, that of the training of the runners, “highlighted López.
One of the problems with transactions of this type in the country is that they do not appear in the Leasing Law or in the Law Against Real Estate Scams. That would be one of the reasons why operations with bitcoin or stablecoins the legal helplessness that exists is kept private between the parties. Another point is the issue of security and the fact that national registries only accept sales documents denominated in bolivars.
An operation with cryptocurrencies to buy a home is carried out in the following way: both parties agree and carry out the transaction at the real estate offices. The buyer transfers by Binance, for example, to the seller in USDT. Later, the buyer makes a second transaction to pay the realtor his commission.
Another modality is that the buyer carries out a reservation transaction as a commitment that he is going to run the business. This is a percentage of the cost of the home as a guarantee for the realtor to start doing the paperwork. The difference in the amount is paid later when closing the deal.
In addition, the real estate must be registered with the National Superintendence of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) and report the transaction. The amount is recorded in bolivars in the sales document, but it is for a much lower amount. The agreement has been previously established in digital dollars or bitcoin.
There are also cases in which the parties agree directly, without the participation of the real estate companies. In these cases, the buyer may hire a lawyer to prepare the corresponding papers.
From the real estate union of Venezuela they are asking that the law be modified to include operations in dollars, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In fact, the Venezuelan State, in theory, validates operations in petros (PTR), beyond those made with bolivars. However, there would be another obstacle here.
“When the registrars see that the sales documents are denominated in petros, they do not accept them. They understand that the parties involved are using petros to receive dollars and assume that they can get in trouble, which is not true. That is why the modification of laws and technical training are important, “added López.
President Nicolás Maduro himself has spoken out about the sale of houses in dollars and said they were illegal. In November 2019 the president ad that transactions for the acquisition of homes, vehicles or motorcycles they were legal if they were made in petros, not in dollars or other cryptocurrencies. This decree conflicts with what actually happens in the records.
Axie Infinity earnings to buy houses
One of the reasons that is encouraging the sale of homes with cryptocurrencies in Venezuela is Axie Infinity. The game based on non-fungible tokens (NFT) has become the main source of income for dozens of people in the South American country. With the market rise, players have amassed capital that now seek to diversify into real estate.
According to Carlos Grau, operations manager of the real estate company Grau, located in the Anzoátegui state, in recent months he has received calls from all over the country from Axie Infinity players. People have contacted you because the company accepts payments with cryptocurrencies and they want information on how to buy houses with the profits they have made.
«We have received quite a few clients. Many of them are Axie Infinity players looking for houses or apartments. Most have budgets that range between $ 7,000 and $ 12,000 in USDT. There’s also traders or miners who have shown interest in investing ”, assured Grau.
The real estate broker pointed out that, although the demand for the purchase of housing with cryptocurrencies has risen, the available supply has not done so in the same proportion. In the case of buyers are young enthusiasts of the digital worldWhile on the vendor side these are people who are not very related to technology and are usually older.
Cryptocurrencies as a source of income
Due to the economic crisis that Venezuela is experiencing, thousands of people have approached bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as an alternative to safeguarding value. Currently this relationship has been magnified with people who not only exchange their bolivars for BTC, for example, but there is also a sector of the population that earns their salary in digital assets.
For the lawyer and real estate advisor Belman Andrés Abache, from the Edaca Global Group, some people are investing in Venezuela because they have cryptocurrencies as a source of income. The runner explained that traders, miners, Axie Infinity players or people who earn in BTC, settle the profits in different ways.
“Many do not have bank accounts abroad and prefer to leave their funds on exchanges rather than exchange them for bolivars. Others are exchanging to dollars in cash, but most prefer to make transactions directly in USDT from Binance for whatever they want to buy, be it houses or vehicles, for example, “the advisor said.
One of these cases was recently reported by CriptoNoticias when a young man trader paid $ 12,000 for a home in Barcelona, a city located about 350 kilometers east of Caracas. The bitcoin merchant used the stablecoin Tether to acquire the property that he later gave to his mother.
Venezuela is one of the countries with the highest adoption of cryptocurrencies in the world. That Venezuelans are using digital assets to buy houses reflects the reach of the ecosystem bitcoiner and the entire industry that moves around it.