With Bitcoin rising in price rapidly and more people joining this craze partially out of the fear of missing out (FOMO), there needs to be ample places to spend the same. Afterall a kitty filled with dollar bills won’t be of any help if the product or service stations don’t accept any. Keeping such things in mind, a New York-based rental platform, ManageGo has come up with a service which allows both tenants and landlords to make payments and schedule maintenance services using an online module and have recently added Bitcoin to their list of payment options.
Tenants and landlords can make use of this option from early next year. ManageGo has established a collaboration with Bitcoin Exchange Coinbase, for converting the Bitcoin holdings of its tenants into equivalent dollars which is subsequently paid off to the landlord. Given the inherent volatility of bitcoin there lies a chance for ManageGo users might face losses with their holdings. Given such a scenario, the application locks the value at the time of payment. ManageGo have been operational for seven years till now and in spite of not having much demand till date, its executives are hopeful of the demand curve showing a steep rise in days to come following the inclusion of Bitcoin.
“We lead in innovation, so we saw Bitcoin was something that’s going to happen and become a standing currency sometime in the future. Right now there are types of clients we have, their tenants fit the profile, and we wanted to offer it as the new amenity beyond a fancy gym or a new couch in the building,” said Chaim Lowenstein the vice president of business strategy at ManageGo.
Lowenstein agreed to the fact that he has already received enquiries from landlords however no such interest has yet been shown by tenants. The company is trying to spread the idea of their rent payment system globally with the aim of getting viral just like Bitcoins.
Toby Bozzuto, the Bozzuto Group CEO which is an apartment development and management company having a strong portfolio consisting of 70000 units till date came to know about all this at a real estate conference. “Currently we have had zero interest in paying rent through bitcoin. You don’t know who owns it, and that’s the knock on it. It’s been considered black market with a dirty reputation. If this becomes a consumer shift, like Apple Pay, we are always looking for ways to increase the ease of rent payments. I’m not closed-minded enough to say it’s off the table,” said Bozzuto who is still not much confident about the performance of cryptos in the long-run.
The American Apartment Owners Association was approached by ManageGo. However representative denied any such claims stating that they have not received any demand from landlords or renters for Bitcoin options. Association representative Alexandra Alvarado, holds the view that landlords and property management companies are slowly shifting gears into the plethora of online payments but still tend to be exceptionally conservative and cautious. They will never even try to consider something until the same has established a strong footing in the market. Given the exceptional rise of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies which have found their way into our digital wallets, that could be months or even years. At the very onset, it shall be approached by a very specific renter type. “It’s someone who is maybe in technology, somebody in finance, somebody who sees this as very exciting. They got in, and this makes it real that they could pay their rent with bitcoin.” Lowenstein said.
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Tarunima Ghosh Laha
Tarunima Ghosh Laha is a Finance Post Grad from St. Xaviers who believes Finance is more than just Balance Sheets and Ledger creation. This filmy bookworm who believes she was a sloth in past life also nourishes a penchant of owning a private zoo someday. Equipped with a laptop and online Lexicon she is all set to give finance a glamorous makeover in the form of exciting writeups with bang on info and flashy new words.
Source : Kryptomoney