On Thursday, 5 May 2022, in Portugal, an apartment was purchased for the first time in Bitcoin. The property in question is located in Braga, in the north of the country, near Porto, and was sold for 3 BTC, or about $100k.
Real estate sold entirely using Bitcoin in Portugal
The most important point of this event lies in the direct purchase in BTC, skipping the usual step of converting the cryptocurrency into fiat.
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This is an important “first”: the first purchase and sale of a property in Europe without any conversion into euros.
All this has been made possible thanks to a new regulation of the Order of Notaries released last month, which allows precisely to carry out this type of operation without the tedious step of conversion into fiat, thus exploiting the potential and effectiveness of transactions in digital currencies.
How the purchase is made and what are the controls
Buying a property using cryptocurrencies certainly lowers the number of steps and bureaucratic tasks that the parties by law must fulfill, but this does not lead to non-existent controls.
In fact, to make a purchase of a property in cryptocurrency it is necessary to follow a series of procedures, in order to comply with AML (Anti Money Laundering) requirements.
The controls that are carried out before confirming the purchase can be summarized as follows:
- Identification of the parties involved
- Verification of the price and the type of cryptocurrency
- Understanding of the cryptocurrency purchase process
- Communication of the wallet
- Demonstration of the transaction at the time of purchase
The controls are slightly more detailed if the real estate transaction exceeds 200,000 euros.
A new opportunity in real estate for crypto enthusiasts
Around this new opportunity there seems to be only great enthusiasm for the moment.
Zome, real estate agency that participated in the operation, has in fact stated as follows:
“This act represents a historic achievement, the transfer of a digital asset to a physical asset – a house – without any conversion into euros!
The future of mediation will pass through cryptocurrencies, so we believe that this transaction will start a whole new world of possible deals”.
Nuno da Silva Vieira, lawyer and partner in charge of the Legal Intelligence practice area at Antas da Cunha ECIJA, then adds:
“This type of business will have an exponential increase and Portugal is showing very promising signs in terms of the digital economy. We therefore believe that this operation can be a great opportunity for growth and value creation.”
In light of all these facts, we can therefore say that Portugal once again confirms itself as one of the most crypto-friendly countries in Europe.
This thin strip of land overlooking the Atlantic Ocean offers a favorable tax regime for crypto holders, an affordable cost of living and a favorable tax system for all expats.
The country is therefore becoming the perfect destination for all those working in the fintech sector and this latest news can only be the icing on the cake.
A recent report by the Bank of Spain even revealed that Portugal’s share in the volume of cryptocurrency transactions in the eurozone, exceeds the weight of its gross domestic product (GDP) in the economy of the single currency area.
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