Although tomorrow the world’s first Bitcoin ATM will be installed in my new hometown of Vancouver, my former hometown Shanghai seems to be the first city where you can actually buy a new condo with Bitcoin. I am not sure if this is just a smart idea to virally promote the project, but a developer now sells small new apartments (42-81 sqm) in Zhangjiang, a hi-tech park area on the outskirts of Shanghai, that you can pay for in the crypto currency. They hope to attract Internet and tech people to live and work there.
The rate is not particularly good though, the developer set it at 1 BTC = 1000 RMB, which is about $164 right now, much lower than the actual rate of above $200 on Mt. Gox. But maybe he just set it a week or 2 ago, during Bitcoin’s fast acceleration? Although there are a lot of tech people around in Zhangjiang that are probably mining Bitcoin, I would be surprised if any of them have accumulated enough coins to buy an apartment.
But you never know, look at this guy in Norway for example. He wrote a thesis about crypto currencies in 2009 and bought for about $27 Bitcoins. He forgot about them and suddenly realized earlier this year that he still had them sitting somewhere in a virtual wallet. At that moment the Bitcoins were worth $885,000 (at today’s rate more than $1 million already), and he bought an apartment right away with part of the proceeds.