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The US and Australian Real Estate Markets Still Want Buyers’ Bitcoins

The US and Australian Real Estate Markets Still Want Buyers Bitcoins

Whether it be in a bull or bear in 2019, there are some markets where cryptocurrencies are thriving; and in both the US and Australia that is very much the Real Estate Market, showing no respect for the downturn in Bitcoin’s value over the past months.

Properties are still being sold for cryptocurrency in 2019, a trend which has continued since late 2017 when the price of cryptocurrencies went sky high as Bitcoin almost reached the 20k mark.

Whether it be a Colorado beach home or a USD 2.3 million luxury estate with 14 acres in California, or in the same state a 70 BTC property with private beach club and restaurant membership, real estate agents are still happy to recommend to sellers that Bitcoin is OK.

Other blocks and parcels of land still available for crypto around the US include a 3 bedroom Key West estate on Saddlebunch key or if it is space a prospective buyer needs, how about a 300 acres block of land in Bouse, Arizona, currently on sale for fiat or digital assets.

In the US, the trend for sellers to accept crypto rather than not sell at all is still too much to resist, although current low values in cryptocurrency prices and uncertainty surrounding the future of the market after the 2018 slump may have encouraged some buyers to part with their crypto holdings for bricks and mortar, this hasn’t deterred those accepting crypto for property.

Australia is another property market currently attracting Bitcoin buyers. A regional housing report in Queensland recently cited Ray White Real Estate, one of the country’s largest agents, currently selling a luxurious three-bathroom home in Surfers Paradise for AUD 580,000 (USD 420,000) Also a Darwin apartment in the north of the continent is selling for either 126 BTC or AUD 600,00 (UDS 430,000) with the listing exclaiming: “We are happy to accept Bitcoin or any other major cryptocurrency instead of Australian dollars for this property.”

Another far less modest property advertised on an Australian website is a mid-century hillside estate, available for a cool AUD 3.3 million. “The seller may consider offers including consideration paid in bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency,” the ad informs.


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Colorado Considers Bill for Looser Securities Laws on Crypto Activities

Colorado Considers Bill for Looser Securities Laws on Crypto Activities

The State of Colorado is considering a bipartisan bill which seeks to relieve cryptocurrencies of some securities laws, as per documents released by the Colorado Senate.


The bill titled the Colorado Digital Token Act is aiming to establish “limited exemptions from securities registration and securities broker-dealer and salesperson licensing requirements for persons dealing in digital tokens”.

The intention is to further Colorado as an attractive location for blockchain businesses and entrepreneurs. The bill describes the potential of blockchain as a means to create Web 3.0 platforms as well as applications, which are said to have advantages over present Web 2.0 models.

Article 51

The bill goes on to write: “Companies that seek to utilize cryptoeconomic systems face regulatory uncertainty that the issuance, sale, and purchase of digital tokens that have a primarily consumptive purpose may be prohibited under this article 51.”

Article 51 pertains to the requirement for registration of securities as well as exemptions, stating that it is “unlawful” to sell or offer the sale of any security in the state unless registered under Article 51, or falls under the exemption of four nuanced sections of the article.

Toward the end of 2018, the Colorado Securities Division brought the hammer down on four initial coin offerings (ICOs) for failing to comply with the present securities laws. The proposed Digital Token Act could see such events become a thing of the past.


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Colorado Resort Breaks New Ground with Real Estate Security Tokens

A resort in Aspen Colorado has launched Ethereum-based tokens to encourage investor interest.

St Regis Aspen Resort has followed up on its August announcement of an intention to offer shares in the business through blockchain tokens. The tokens will replace the traditional idea of paper certificates of equity in the property. The resort is using Indiegogo, an online crowdfunding platform, to launch the offering.

The prestigious St Regis hotel set at the base of Aspen Mountain has rooms at USD 3,500  a week, offering its guests shops, spas and treatment rooms, beauty therapies and a private butler service. Most guests stay to access skiing at a range of slopes nearby including Snowmass, Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk.

Slava Rubin, co-founder of Indiegogo, explained the thinking behind such projects:

“From the beginning ten years ago, we always looked at democratizing access to capital and allowing people to get more involved in these opportunities and today we are talking about our expansion into security token offerings.”

The tokens, called Aspen Coins, have been offered through Templum Markets, a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and will be treated as security tokens for the purpose of the sale. The sale price has been set at USD 1 each with a minimum investment of USD 10,000, with a total offering of USD 18 million which closed on 14 September.

The resort claims to be one of the first major real estate ventures in the US to launch into the world of blockchain. Stephane De Baets, St Regis owner, sees such ventures as game-changing in the hospitality industry:

“We’ve lined up a substantial pipeline of global properties to bring to market subsequent to the first offering. A lot of people don’t want to sit on depreciating fiat cash in a bank account… high-profile trophy asset is something you can be emotionally connected to and build a little bit of your savings portfolio on.”

This hasn’t been Indiegogo’s first foray into cryptocurrency, as at the end of last year the company launched a fan-based football league ICO which fell short of its target, only raising USD 5.3 million. The company’s CEO sees this as a far more investable enterprise, commenting:

“Having a clear asset like the St Regis Aspen is the beginning of signaling a shift in how people think about tokenization and investing in blockchains and crypto.”


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AP Collaborates with Blockchain Journalist Firm for Improved Ethics

The US-based not-for-profit news agency the Associated Press (AP) announced on Tuesday that it would join blockchain-based journalism startup Civil in a content licensing partnership.

The collaboration will allow Civil to access all of AP’s national and international content for use in Civil’s related newsrooms, receiving a direct license for use by AP. In exchange, AP will receive CVL tokens which will be reportedly be used to promote objectivity and accuracy in its work through supporting Civil’s internal economy.

Civil’s technology allows traditional journalism models to be improved by providing authorship and ownership rights, smart contract licensing terms and incentives for ethical behavior. The AP stated that it does not have any interest in changing the ethical standards promoted by Civil but rather, they plan to change how they are enforced by colleagues in journalism.

AP cites a particular interest in how blockchain can be used to improve journalism models as the primary reason for the partnership, alongside this improving ethics and transparency standards. The news organization will pursue additional blockchain uses in tracking content movement and mentions, consumption trends and securing intellectual property.

Jim Kennedy, AP’s senior vice president for Strategy and Enterprise Development, commended his publication’s commitment to effectively progressing journalism into the digital age. Kennedy wrote in the official announcement, ”We’re eager to help cultivate the space and demonstrate our value to a new set of digital publishers.”

According to AP, Civil is just the first significant media partnership to be announced in its pursuit of a ”new economy for journalism” where quality is the primary incentive, with organizations including the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), the European Journalism Centre and the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism soon joining them.

Bitcoin News covered the establishment of Civil in June this year as the result of veteran journalists in Colorado turning to blockchain to move away from corporate pressure and reliance on advertising, creating a reader-supported journalism model.


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Blockchain-Backed Energy Grid Receives $1 Million US Government Grant

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded a USD 1 million grant to blockchain-backed energy grid company Grid7.

The grant came during the DoE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program as one of 95 businesses that passed the second stage, as announced by the DoE on Monday. Colorado-based Grid7 was chosen for its part in advancing the nations energy security, with the grant intended to fund the project for the following two years.

Grid7 comprises a three-person team, with the business aiming to develop an energy grid backed by blockchain technology for solar power sources. The decentralized nature of the product means that any data can be shared easily from buildings to electric grids, offering an improvement to standard power supply efficiency in a more secure fashion.

Data provided by the SBIR programme shows that Grid7 already benefited from funding that reached approximately USD 150,000 last year, allowing the project to complete the program’s first stage. Startups were required to demonstrate ”technical feasibility for innovations“, as well as provide a prototype during this phase in order to progress.

All together, 80 businesses across 26 states received the remaining capital from the DoE that totaled USD 95 million.

Blockchain in Colorado

Colorado is one of several states in the US that is championing the development of blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the state passed a bill employing blockchain tech in government record keeping and cybersecurity as a way of improving data collection and maintenance processes.

The innovative blockchain news startup partnered with Civil Media Co also began in Colorado last month. The project is looking to overturn corporate and advertising pressures news outlets find themselves subject to, with the hopes of offering ad-free, fake news-free source for readers. Their new model would rely solely on compensation received directly from readers.


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