Buying or selling houses with Bitcoin is trending in Panama. Today it is possible to pay for various properties using Bitcoin.
For many, the idea sounds great because it doesn't require a third party to approve a payment.
The procedure uses a real estate swap contract.
Buying or selling a property with bitcoin (BTC) is a booming trend in Panama. Many prefer crypto transactions because they do not need third-party intermediation. Among other reasons, the operation is completed without exchanging funds on a fiat basis, avoiding banking and their commissions.
"Yes, buying and selling real estate with bitcoin is happening a lot now because there are many new millionaires that have emerged with the rise of cryptocurrencies. So this new generation is looking to diversify their assets with the purchase of other assets, such as land, houses, and apartments," Aldo Antinori, founder of the Panama Chamber of Digital Commerce and Blockchain.
The Panamanian added that many of those who now own high net worth generally prefer to make their real estate purchases with cryptocurrencies because, that way, they avoid banking institutions. In Panama, only operate a few national or regional banks without an international presence.
The few banks are one of the consequences that Panama has suffered because international organizations classify the territory as a tax haven. "So, if you try to trade with a broker like eToro, for example, you will get a notification that says 'this region is prohibited from trading with these services.' That prevents us from putting a lot of money through these platforms," Antinori commented.
For his part, communicator Rodrigo Icaza confirmed that buying homes with bitcoin is growing in Panama. In fact, "there are several unregulated operators or OTC (Over the Counter) that serve as intermediaries between buyers who wish to pay with cryptocurrencies and real estate companies that do not accept them as a form of payment."
Apartment in front of the sea? I accept bitcoin
A short Internet tour makes it possible to verify that some real estate sellers accept bitcoin as a form of payment. The website encuentra24 has several ads with those characteristics: a 291 square meter apartment in Costa del Este, by the sea.
Another publication accepts bitcoin as payment for a house on Isla Margarita in Panama's Colon province. Another seller accepts BTC, ethers (ETH), XRP, Cardano (ADA), or Tether (USDT) for a commercial property in Panama City.
No other websites specializing in real estate offer transactions using cryptocurrencies. One might think that there is not much competition. However, many deals are occurring privately without public notice.
Lawyer Janice Becerra explained the legal process involved in buying real estate with cryptocurrencies in Panama. "This type of operation uses a swap contract, that is, an exchange of assets in which the payment of taxes and the subsequent transfer of the property is contemplated, without having to convert the funds to fiat money," she said.
In any case, Panama is not the only country where real estate purchase with bitcoin and other crypto-assets is trending. In Venezuela, there are real estate agencies that accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Also, in Argentina, the offer of real estate and vehicles in exchange for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is growing.