Following a $1.4 million Perth home being put on the market for digital currency last December, Sydney company Forsyth is Australia’s first real estate agency to accept Bitcoin.
Forsyth Real Estate, a 115 year old real estate agency on Sydney’s North Shore, announced that it will now accept Bitcoin for property transactions, through a partnership with Melbourne-based virtual currency exchange, CoinJar.
James Snodgrass, Forsyth managing director, says they are strong supporters of the Bitcoin economy as it allows overseas transactions with fewer fees and exchange rate fluctuations. Vendors are also able to pay their property advertising with Bitcoin.
“Prior to launching, we had discussions with our financial division who outlined the risks and opportunities of bitcoin and we were happy with our findings,” said Snodgrass.
“We stand behind our 115 year philosophy - 'client’s best interest about all' - and will continue to offer our clients innovative options in this ever evolving world,” he added.
The company was driven to consider Bitcoin as another avenue for online payment due to the influx of international investors and expats entering the prominent Sydney market.
During the transaction stage, customers can simply select Bitcoin as a payment method and the transaction goes through CoinJar’s payment Gateway so Forsyth receives the exact amount in AUD charges, plus transaction fees of 0.5%.
Transactions made in Bitcoins are still subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST), but avoid costly overseas bank transaction charges.
Last year China issued strict guidelines on its banks trading in Bitcoin, and recently China's central bank has ordered the country's commercial banks and payment companies to close Bitcoin trading accounts, which may dampen enthusiasm for the currency.
Forsyth was organising property ads in China to include a Bitcoin payment option and Bitcoin logo, as well as payment options in hard currencies. These ads are being arranged on Chinese online property websites juwai.com and propertychinese.com.