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For the first time, NYC apartments were sold for bitcoins

Written by
Rebecca Fontana

The apartments are on the Upper East Side, because of course they are. 

For the very first time, bitcoins were reportedly used to purchase apartments in NYC: The NY Post reports that two Upper East Side condos at 389 East 89th Street are now in contract for payment via bitcoin. One is a studio for $875,000, which translates to about 102 bitcoins. The other is a one-bedroom going for $1.48 million, which translates to about 172 bitcoins. But it comes with a den, so actually, that’s a bargain

But…what exactly are bitcoins? 

Bitcoins are an electronic form of money, similar to Neopets money. The brand-new form of currency was created in 2009 by mystery person Satoshi Nakamoto—not a bank or government. (That may sound a little scary, but remember, Alexander Hamilton created America’s first bank basically from scratch back in the late 1700s, so it can’t be that hard to do.)

One bitcoin currently equals $8,620.22, and you can buy them at bitcoin ATMs (like the Money Tree) or online with a credit card. (When we wrote a story about NYC's first bitcoin ATM back in 2014, bitcoins were worth $505.50, which isn't depressing at all.) To get new ones, you need to mine them online, which includes a lottery system and solving math problems. Ah, so that’s why we don’t have any bitcoins. Bitcoins are now the most popular form of cryptocurrencies, and just like with Neocash, bitcoin transactions keep you identity private, so don’t worry if your username is still fluffypetloverz0768. 

So in the case of these apartments, the bitcoins are deposited via BitPay, a third-party service similar to Venmo, which converts the digital payment into dollars and sends it to the seller. As the first apartments purchased with bitcoins in NYC, these could set an example that leads to future popularity of the cryptocurrency, which is already usable at NYC restaurants and stores including  La Sirene and Lord & Taylor

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