From Bitcoin to Ethereum and Litecoin – most people that are familiar with this terminology know these terms are cryptocurrencies. This is because the digital means of payment, which is based on the blockchain system, has enjoyed great success in recent years. It is mainly investors who use the so-called “currency of the future”; however, its use as a means of payment for everyday transactions is still relatively new for most people. Nevertheless, many companies have started to integrate certain cryptocurrencies into the payment process and, thus, officially accept them as a common means of payment. The software giant Microsoft started doing this many years ago. In the meantime, companies outside the online business world have also started using cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
It was, therefore, predictable that cryptocurrencies would not stop in the real estate industry. Since, due to technological progress, large amounts, in particular, can be transferred within a few minutes, payment with a cryptocurrency is a good option when buying a property. After all, with an ordinary bank transfer, processing can take a few days. The amount due for the monthly rent payment is, of course, nowhere near as high. It is still stated in euros on most property portals, such as rentola.de. Since you can not only get in touch with landlords quickly and easily on the platform but at the same time compare prices between the different offers, the indication in the currency makes perfect sense. So, although most online portals have so far lacked any information on cryptocurrency, there is now also the option of using digital means of payment for flat rentals.
Paying rent in cryptocurrency – How does it work?
Technically, it is nowadays possible to pay rent in one of the cryptocurrencies. However, before the payment process can be carried out, you first have to take a few steps. The most important one is to find a landlord who agrees with the plan. This is probably the first hurdle. In Germany, the business of cryptocurrencies is not yet as advanced as in other countries. In fact, there are many who are extremely critical of the currency. One should, therefore, not assume that every landlord accepts this digital means of payment. If they do, however, both landlord and tenant must be able to present corresponding wallets, i.e., digital purses, and agree on the amount to be paid. Once this has been done, nothing more stands in the way of paying the rent.
Advantages and disadvantages of payment in cryptocurrencies
There is a good reason for landlords to agree to payments in cryptocurrency. By many, this is seen as a kind of inflation protection. So those who want to hedge against a possible price drop will introduce rental payments in digital currency in the future. Since the use of cryptocurrencies is already much more advanced abroad, one expands the circle of interested parties through their acceptance. In the case of expensive properties and correspondingly high rental payments, offers often fail to materialize. Payment in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency is, therefore, a way of reaching international clients and renting out high-priced properties for which demand in the national market is low.
In reality, however, the business with cryptocurrencies is not quite as simple as described. The use of cryptocurrencies also brings with it a number of hurdles that landlords, in particular, have to face. On the one hand, this means the strong fluctuations that can occur in the currencies. On the other hand, the rental income and the resulting tax payments must also be handled differently through the use of cryptocurrency. One can counteract the fluctuations by making the rental contract correspondingly flexible and including a clause that provides for a regular adjustment of the rent. In doing so, however, one must make sure not to simply disregard legal requirements by making the change. As far as taxes are concerned, the inclusion of cryptocurrency results in a far more complex issue. This also explains why the use of digital currencies in other countries, where rental income does not have to be taxed, is more advanced than in this country.
Conclusion on paying rent in cryptocurrencies
The question of whether rent can be paid in cryptocurrencies can generally be answered in the affirmative. However, one should not be too hasty and consider that the payment can involve some challenges on the part of both the tenant and the landlord. It is precisely these challenges that make it so difficult in the beginning to even find a landlord who agrees to the process. Therein lies the biggest issue with cryptocurrency payments at the moment. A landlord is only likely to agree if they believe in the success of the digital currency in the future and factor rising inflation into their decision.
Since the offers on the rental market are limited due to demand, the tenant’s concern about paying in cryptocurrencies could quickly become a kind of exclusion criterion. Since it cannot be said at this point that the means of payment is already fully integrated into everyday life in Germany, as is the case in other countries, for example, the process is seen as cumbersome by many landlords. For this reason, the question rather arises as to whether it currently makes sense to request payment in cryptocurrencies or whether one should not continue to view cryptocurrency predominantly as an investment.