Cryptocurrency is the enigmatic online currency that takes control out of the hands of the government. It is still in its infancy and, according to one expert, could be wildly adopted for property purchases by as soon as 2020.
The digital currencies of bank accounts and credit cards we use today are an evolution from the way people have bought and sold over the years (such as bartering).
Cryptocurrencies are the next stage of that evolution, according to Gary Ng, CEO of Surge Investments.
“[Cryptocurrency is] not controlled by the government, not controlled by individual [organisations and] the value is actually going to be contained,” Mr. Ng said.
“In western society, you can say that the financial infrastructure is a lot more structured, but then in saying that, they're still preferencing people that they prefer to hold something that's independent, not attached to any particular government.”
Mr. Ng recounted an experience where a friend in Malaysia was selling a property, and he was only accepting bitcoin, one of the more prominent kinds of cryptocurrency.
“When I looked it up just a few days ago, there are multiple portals that are starting listing properties to sell in bitcoins and one of them shows 16 properties in Australia that's listed for sale in bitcoin. So that's happening right now,” Mr. Ng said.
“When would it become more widely adopted? There will be a tipping point. Right now, we're still in that early adopter phase… of maybe like 1 per cent, 2 per cent, 3 per cent of adoption.
“When we start to get around 10 per cent, 15 per cent, which I believe will happen around the next one year, two years or so... from that, we're going to see property being bought and sold using cryptocurrency a lot more frequently.”