Big on Bitcoin: Caruso now largest real estate firm to accept rent in cryptocurrency

Rick Caruso’s LA-based company embraces volatile currency across retail, commercial properties

Los Angeles /
Apr.April 08, 2021 09:45 AM
Rick Caruso (Getty, iStock)
Rick Caruso (Getty, iStock)

Rick Caruso’s eponymous real estate firm is embracing cryptocurrency.

The Fairfax-based investment company will begin accepting rent payments in Bitcoin across its retail and commercial properties, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The firm also said it spent 1 percent of its cash reserves on Bitcoin and entered a partnership with Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange led by Tyler Winklevoss.

“We’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital markets into Bitcoin,” Caruso said, in an interview with CNBC.

The move makes Caruso the largest real estate operator in the U.S. to accept Bitcoin for rent payments, according to Coindesk. The company’s Southern California holdings include the Grove mall, Miramar Beach Resort and the 240-unit Americana at Brand luxury rental complex.

How many tenants will choose to pay in that currency remains to be seen. Its value fluctuates sharply — in the last three months a Bitcoin was worth between $30,000 and $60,000. As an example: A year ago, one Bitcoin traded below $5,000. Today, it’s worth more than 10 times that price.

Caruso isn’t the only investor to move into cryptocurrency. Morgan Stanley opened up access to Bitcoin for its wealth management clients earlier this year. And Goldman Sachs is expected to offer clients cryptocurrency investment vehicles in the near future.

Bitcoin is sometimes accepted in smaller real estate deals. In January, a New York City bar owner listed two properties that could be purchased in Bitcoin. And the owner of Miami Beach’s Treehouse nightclub listed the property in March, with cryptocurrency or cash accepted.

In February, Rick Caruso listed his Malibu mansion for sale. He listed the 7,200-square-foot home for $40 million in February, or roughly 693 bitcoin today; no word if he’ll accept the currency as payment.

[LAT] [CNBC] — Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
LaTerra gets $198.5M to finance Burbank apartments
LaTerra gets $198.5M to finance Burbank apartments
LaTerra gets $198.5M to finance Burbank apartments
(iStock)
Flipside to LA’s rich zips: Top spot on “unaffordable” list
Flipside to LA’s rich zips: Top spot on “unaffordable” list
California has 63 of 100 most expensive zip codes. (iStock, AboutZipCode)
California claims lion’s share of 100 priciest zips
California claims lion’s share of 100 priciest zips
LA City Council eyes Venice, Hollywood homeless with $56M
LA City Council eyes Venice, Hollywood homeless with $56M
LA City Council eyes Venice, Hollywood homeless with $56M
Miami nips at NY for title of most expensive housing market
Miami catching up to NY for title of most expensive housing market
Miami catching up to NY for title of most expensive housing market
A construction site in Century City (Getty)
California launches $1.8B fund for stalled affordable housing projects
California launches $1.8B fund for stalled affordable housing projects
(iStock)
LA is nation’s second least affordable housing market: report
LA is nation’s second least affordable housing market: report
Caruso has previously expressed interest in a potential run (Getty, Photo Illustration by The Real Deal)
Caruso for mayor? Developer hints at possible LA run
Caruso for mayor? Developer hints at possible LA run
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...