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Celebrity Realtor Ryan Serhant: 50% of Real Estate Transactions Will Be in Crypto

Buying real estate in the metaverse may sound sexy, but have you tried using crypto to buy a house in the real world? People are doing just that.

3 min read

In brief

  • Ryan Serhant—the real estate broker, author, and star of “Million Dollar Listing New York”—says he has sold over $5 billion in real estate.
  • Serhant predicts that 50% of real estate transactions will be done using cryptocurrency in the next five years.

Earlier this month, someone paid the equivalent of $450,000 in SAND tokens for a house in the metaverse next door to Snoop Dogg. A person could have bought a physical home for that much money. 

While 2021 saw a boom in the virtual property real estate market—with people and companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in ETH and other cryptocurrencies to stake their claims—some instead are taking their crypto and buying real-world property.

The real estate market in the United States alone is worth $156.2 billion, according to IBISWorld. New York City is one of the spots seeing an increase in crypto HODLers, as investors use their gains to move into luxurious addresses.

Ryan Serhant—the real estate broker, author, and star of “Million Dollar Listing New York”—has sold over $5 billion in real estate, according to his team. And he predicts that 50% of real estate transactions will be done using cryptocurrency in the next five years. "There's just going to be a lot of crypto whales moving money and putting it into hard assets, buying penthouses and all that," the founder and CEO of the eponymous real estate firm, Serhant, told Decrypt. "I think we're in a very unique point in time.”

"We'll end up doing, in New York alone, maybe one or two deals this month that are wallet to wallet, Serhant said. "And then six or seven deals this month using an intermediary like BitPay."

The celebrity real estate broker says that as more people become comfortable with cryptocurrency, it will become a means toward potentially saving for things like homeownership. Banks, too, should become more comfortable with the asset and begin facilitating loans. But that time hasn't come just yet. 

"Right now," Serhant said, "if I go to an institutional lender, and I want to go get a loan on a home and use their financing, and if I say all my assets are in a mixture of Solana, Ethereum, and Bitcoin, the bank's gonna say, 'Yeah, that's too risky, too volatile, we can't really lend on that, or we'll lend on 25% of it or something.'"

While Serhant believes that we will start to see an uptick in crypto being used to buy things, brokers can't just sell houses to anyone who steps up with a Bitcoin wallet. There are still legal factors to consider and Know Your Customer (KYC) policies to keep criminals and sanctioned individuals from buying property in the United States using cryptocurrency.

"We need to make sure that as we buy and sell real estate in major American markets that we are above board," Serhant said. "That's really important. I'm definitely an advocate of safe money. But at the same time, if being able to purchase your cryptocurrency makes purchasing things like homes and everything else, faster, easier, amongst many other reasons, that goes a long way."

That's why he's ready for the influx of new crypto money. "If somebody has $20 million in Ethereum, and wants to use 15 of it to buy an apartment," he said, "I'm more than happy to broker that deal."

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