Glen Oaks Escrow, one of Southern California’s largest independent escrow companies, recently announced that it closed its first Bitcoin transaction.
The organization shared that the homebuyer contacted the Glen Oaks Escrow office in San Diego to inquire about purchasing a condo in Costa Mesa. Given that Glen Oaks Escrow is able to provide services in other locations outside of San Diego, Escrow Officer Doreen Tirres, successfully assisted the client with the transaction.
“Doreen was wonderful,” Buyer Ezra B. said of the 17 day escrow. “She was responsive and on top of things. She was extremely professional and I didn’t have any doubts that we would have any trouble closing this transaction. She did all the communication with BitPay which was nice.”
“We made the decision in 2018 to start accepting Bitcoin payments, and we are thrilled that we did. This real estate transaction exemplifies that, while a young technology in our industry, blockchain and cryptocurrencies have the potential to become a bigger part of real estate transactions. And, we’re very proud to be at the forefront to enable transactions in this way,” shared Joe Curtis, COO of Glen Oaks Escrow.
Glen Oaks Escrow accepts Bitcoin payments through BitPay, which acts as the payment processor in the transaction and is used to verify the funds (similar to how a bank would function). The escrow company then sends out an invoice to the buyer exactly like wire instructions would be sent. The buyer then has 15 minutes to pay with Bitcoin or the payment option will expire.
The funds go to escrow through BitPay, which turns it into cash and wires it into the escrow account. In summary, BitPay takes the Bitcoin and converts it to cash for the seller, so the seller never actually sees the Bitcoin payment, but just the cash.
The decision was made to accept Bitcoin as the payment method due to an increasing number of homes currently listed on the market that are accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. In 2014, a Lake Tahoe home sold for 2,739 Bitcoins — the equivalent of $1.6 million at the time. In 2017, a buyer used roughly 3,300 Bitcoins to buy a Cape Cod-style mansion in Manhattan Beach for $3.225 million.
“While many are still trying to understand how cryptocurrencies fit into the real estate industry, we continue to see the growth of usage in other markets. In March, two multi-billion-dollar companies started accepting Bitcoin for payments – Avnet, a Phoenix-based electronic supplier and Digitec Galaxus AG – a Swiss-based online retail store. We are confident that this new way of doing business will increase in our industry, and we’re proud to be paving the way for this technology,” explained Joe Curtis.
SOURCE Glen Oaks Escrow