Wichita-area home buyers in the market for a custom house can now make a down payment in bitcoin. Paul Gray Homes, the custom building company run by a former Wichita City Council member, has introduced several new cryptocurrency payment options.
Gray will become the first home-builder in the region to accept cryptocurrencies, digital currencies that exist on a decentralized ledger and are virtually impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity,” Gray said. “It just opens us up as a company to a little bit broader market share of people who have opportunities to buy a home that may not have realized they have.”
He said crypto investors who have done well for themselves can parlay their savings into another appreciating asset, a new home.
“They may go, ‘I don’t have $20,000 in the bank for a down payment, but I’ve got $100,000 over here in Bitcoin,” Gray said.
“There was a time in the past when people would trade a boat or a motorcycle for their down payment. I don’t have cash, but here’s my boat, and then your builder turns around and figures out how to sell the boat. This is a much more refined example of that.”
Homebuyers can now pay Gray in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Max and Dogecoin, but he plans to expand that list as he assesses the viability of other currencies.
Gray said his company’s custom homes range from $300,000 to over $1 million in value.
“There’s a lot of Bitcoin millionaires and billionaires out there,” he said.
Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009, and a number of digital currencies have gained traction in recent years. El Salvador just became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender, and several high-profile companies from Microsoft and PayPal to Dish Network and Subway, already accept some form of cryptocurrency.
Gray said he’s been studying crypto for about five years. He even mines his own Bitcoin.
“Instead of just going out and buying gold, it’s like buying a shovel and going over to a field that has gold in it and digging it up yourself,” Gray said.
But he acknowledged that investing in crypto can be a “risky endeavor.”
“It has a lot of growing up to do,” Gray said. “Cryptocurrency is probably like a teenager now — not a child, not an infant, but not quite a mature adult that stands on its own, but it’s getting closer.”
He said it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream for businesses to accept cryptocurrency.
“With more people in the future accepting these cryptocurrencies and really legitimizing them as an actual currency, their pricing will continue to stabilize and it will be a good thing for commerce in the U.S. and the world,” Gray said.
“I think ultimately, this is the way of the future.”