Buyers wishing to purchase a Notting Hill mansion that will go on the market for £17 million will need to pay in bitcoin, which is believed to be a first for London, according to the Evening Standard. The six-storey stucco-fronted home is near Portobello Road.
London Wall bought the property in 2013. Company co-founder Lev Loginov hopes to pioneer transactions using bitcoin in England.
Loginov said he wants to change perceptions of cryptocurrency. He said cryptocurrency will remove the need for solicitors and property title, and will change the way real estate transactions are conducted. Loginov said bitcoin transactions can be done faster, more efficiently and more easily than working with banks, which bring overregulation.
Property sellers in the U.K. have accepted bitcoin in the past, but this marks the first time that an owner has said that they will only accept payment in bitcoin.
The owner of a £1.7 million Peckham townhouse last month offered to accept bitcoin, but also agreed to accept sterling. London Wall purchased the Notting Hill property for £9.5 million and has spent around three years renovating it from five flats into a single residence.
Loginov said it is likely that an Asian tech entrepreneur familiar with bitcoin will buy the property.
He said hurdles remain for accepting payment in bitcoin for real estate property, such as how commissions will be paid to agents and stamp duty to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom (HMRC).
Loginov, who is 36, said he grew up in Siberia after the Soviet Union collapsed in the Nineties. He said barter was common since his family had no money. He said he expects London real estate agents will be able to figure out how to get commissions in cryptocurrency for such a large value property, and he has faith in HRMC to figure out how the sale will be taxed.
The sale will result in a £1.95 million stamp duty bill.
Bitcoin has been associated with tax evasion and drug trafficking in the past, but Loginov and Ned El-Imad, his business partner, have hired advisers to make sure the currency has not been purchased to launder money.
Quintel, a business intelligence firm, and James Ramsden QC, a lawyer and an asset tracing specialist, will work to determine the source of a prospective buyer’s funds.
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