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Over the last year, we’ve seen Bitcoin making huge strides into becoming a part of the mainstream. More and more institutions are beginning to accept Bitcoin as a means of transaction. You can already buy pretty much anything using the largest cryptocurrency. Pretty soon, we may be able to pay rent or buy a home in this way.
Developer Rick Caruso is looking to become a pioneer in this field. Caruso is a well-known name in the world of real estate. He owns several large malls, luxury apartment complexes, and a lavish seaside resort. He’s also the chair of the board of trustees at USC. Now, he may become the first real estate owner to accept rent payments in Bitcoin. Caruso now accepts Bitcoin transactions as rent payments at the Grove shopping center and several other properties. He also has plans to employ blockchain technology to develop new loyalty and rewards programs for customers.
For this purpose, they partnered up with Gemini, a crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins. The two brothers are best known for suing Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their Facebook idea. Although Caruso hasn’t disclosed the exact dollar amount to be invested, Caruso Properties will convert around 1% of its balance into Bitcoin. He noted that he sees the Bitcoin purchase as a good hedge move against inflation. Furthermore, it’s already proven to be a solid investment. The developer compared Bitcoin to credit cards in the 50s. What was once seen as a rare oddity is now a widely accepted form of payment. He believes that the same destiny awaits Bitcoin.
So far, there hasn’t been much interest from Caruso’s tenants to pay their rent in Bitcoin. However, he hopes that it will change soon, and they’re more than prepared. In fact, one of the first tenants to pay the rent this way could be none other than Elon Musk. Tesla operates a store in one of Caruso’s shopping centers in Greendale. In February Musk’s company bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. They’ve also started to accept Bitcoin payments for their cars and other products. Caruso admitted that he still hasn’t talked to Musk about it, but believes that Tesla’s owner may be one of the first to use Bitcoin to pay rent.
Rick Caruso owns more than 350 residential units at several places. He’s also working on developing rewards programs that will employ cryptocurrencies. He feels that these kinds of programs will especially appeal to younger customers. Shoppers will be issued blockchain-based credit cards that will work in a similar way to the conventional ones. Among other things, customers will be able to use them for visits to Caruso’s resort in Montecito.
The new system will provide customers with flexibility when it comes to using their cards. They will be able to redeem rewards in a way they see most fitting. Caruso notes that many rewards programs nowadays are left unused. This is mostly due to the lack of engagement. He thinks that cryptocurrency will engage more people and make them more active within rewards programs.