A Friday Chat About Paying Rent in Bitcoin

Photo credit: BTC Keychain, CC BY 2.0.

NICOLE: Happy Friday!

EMILY ROSE: Happy Friday to you, too! I’m so excited for your plants!

NICOLE: Me too! I hope they don’t die. Which is to say that I hope I don’t inadvertently kill them.

EMILY ROSE: As an unintentional plant murderer myself, I hear you.

NICOLE: I kept a cactus alive for a few years once, and then it died during a move. Since it was a cactus, I didn’t realize it was dead until about a month later.

EMILY ROSE: There’s a life lesson or metaphor or fable in there somewhere.

NICOLE: “Don’t put a cactus in the front seat of a car?”

EMILY ROSE: That sounds like solid advice.

NICOLE: But we need to talk about YOUR apartment today, because you have big news!

EMILY ROSE: Oh yes. On Tuesday, I came back from having breakfast with a friend and there was a notice on my building’s front door. You can now pay your rent in BITCOIN.

NICOLE: WHAT?!

EMILY ROSE: THAT’S WHAT I SAID. And it was announced via a single printed piece of paper, written in Comic Sans. It included the usual vague/poor explanation of what Bitcoin is and then suggested that interested tenants call the office for more info. I have tried, but no dice on information so far.

NICOLE: So what are the advantages to paying in Bitcoin? If you have Bitcoin right now, it would seem like a bad move to give it to your landlord. (Gotta increase that value, right?)

EMILY ROSE: Well, I started researching “Bitcoin rent” as soon as I saw this, and apparently, most Bitcoin-for-rent transactions take Bitcoin from the renter and convert it to cash, which goes to the landlord. Actual Bitcoin-only transactions are rare.

There’s a property management app that now offers the ability to do Bitcoin transactions for rent, and even they admitted that they hadn’t added this option out of a demand for it. I’ll find the article… “Now You Can Pay Your Rent in Bitcoin.”

NICOLE: “We wanted to offer it as the new amenity beyond a fancy gym or a new couch in the building.” I love that this landlord rates “new couch” alongside “fancy gym.”

EMILY ROSE: Oh my god, I didn’t even catch that part.

NICOLE: Oh wait he isn’t the landlord, he’s a VP at the company that lets you make Bitcoin transactions with your landlord. I get it now.

EMILY ROSE: And I’d like to paint a picture of my apartment building: there are no fancy amenities here. This is a very old building that was once a hotel and was converted to affordable apartments with state grants. My rent is $600. I researched the property management company and public estimates on revenue place the company’s annual revenue around $270,000 per year. Somehow, I don’t think this is the market for BITCOIN FOR RENT.

NICOLE: I kinda want to dare you to go into your landlord’s office and say “I’m ready to pay in Bitcoin.” See if your landlord is like… “oh wow, I guess I have to open an account now.”

EMILY ROSE: HAH! For some reason, I think they are READY for this. I think they have the ManageGo app or whatever and are just waiting for someone to pay in Bitcoin. I asked the building super for more info and he said he’d get it to me “by tomorrow” (today) but I haven’t heard anything so far. I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. And I DO NOT WANT TO PAY IN BITCOIN.

NICOLE: Can you offer them a CryptoKitty instead?

EMILY ROSE: Girrrrl, I can’t afford CryptoKitties! (Also when the CryptoKitties article came out I spent the entire week just screaming “CRYPTOKITTIES!”) Would any creative Billfolders like to create the next adorable cryptocurrency for rent?

NICOLE: Yes, PLEASE! And then tell us so we can get in on the ground floor. Ooooh apartment pun!


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