Cryptocurrency – the Future of Mortgages?

It’s been announced that the second largest mortgage lender in the USA is now accepting Bitcoin. 

United Wholesale Mortgages announced it plans to accept cryptocurrency for mortgage loans, with the CEO, Mat Ishbia commenting “We’re just giving options” when discussing the plan on Varney & Co. 

Speaking with Varney on Wednesday, Ishbia said United Wholesale Mortgage is not only going to accept Bitcoin, but is also looking into possibly accepting Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies as well. 

He stressed, however, that “we’re not going to do every single coin.”

“We’re going to do it the right way for consumers and for our business, and we think it’s a positive move in the right direction,” Ishbia said.

How Crypto Has Crept into Real Estate

In 2017, the property Developer Go Homes oversaw the first purchase of a £350,000 detached house in Colchester to a software entrepreneur in his 20s using Bitcoin. He then proceeded to rent it out using Bitcoin. 

More recently crypto payment specialists FNTX Capital Suisse has announced a partnership with Portuguese property Developers 355 Developments in an initiative to help clients take crypto payments for cross border transactions. Crypto holders will be able to purchase luxury property in Lisbon using cryptocurrencies. 

This initiative could be a game changer in the cryptocurrency marketplace. One of the biggest problems with digital money has been how difficult it is to buy things with it. Crypto normally has to be converted into fiat currencies before purchases could be made. These exchanges will allow the direct purchase of property using cryptocurrencies and could open the door to a host of new opportunities. 

Buying or investing in property through Bitcoin and other crypto is attractive for a number of reasons. It’s faster and cheaper with no need to go through a bank. Transactions can be processed in as little as ten minutes removing many of the headaches involved in managing a property deal. 

Many also see this as offering a more seamless and secure way of processing deals. Transactions are stored on the blockchain which is a publicly viewable ledger in which transactions are verified by nodes within the blockchain. It is immutable, extremely difficult to hack and offers a level of transparency which could reduce the risk of costly disputes. 

However there are risks. Although crypto is becoming more accepted by the mainstream it remains extremely volatile. While Dogecoin has surged in the last 12 months it remains vulnerable to a dramatic readjustment. Bitcoin, meanwhile, has undergone dramatic peaks and troughs.

The recent crackdown from China’s regulators on cryptocurrencies, and Tesla’s decision to stop taking Bitcoin as payment due to sustainability issues, have caused major shocks to its value. 

Cryptocurrencies also concern regulators due to the potential for fraud. Transactions are encrypted making it difficult to trace the origin of funds. At a time when authorities are attempting to crack down on money laundering, cryptocurrencies can be seen as making their life even more difficult than it already is.

Overall, though, momentum in this space is building. There are real signs that the cryptocurrencies are on the up. They are becoming more acceptable to the mainstream. As more and more people accept them as payment it becomes increasingly difficult to dismiss them as fake currencies with no value. 

Inevitably, the time is coming when they will find a place in the regular financial world.


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