A Notting Hill mansion is about to go on the market for £17million - but whoever buys it will have to pay in Bitcoin. For those familiar with cryptocurrency conversions, that's currently about 5,050 Bitcoin.
The six-storey mansion near Portobello Road, West London, is believed to be the first property in London where buyers will only accept the digital currency and not cash.
Lev Loginov, 36, co-founder of property investment company London Wall, purchased the stucco-fronted home at 4 Stanley Gardens in 2013.
A Notting Hill mansion is about to go on the market for £17million - but whoever buys it will have to pay in Bitcoin. For those familiar with cryptocurrency conversions, that's currently about 5,050 Bitcoin
The six-storey mansion near Portobello Road, West London, is believed to be the first property in London where buyers will only accept the digital currency and not cash. Pictured is the living room, with a TV built into the wall feature.
'We want to shift all the perceptions on cryptocurrency. We think in future it is going to eliminate the need for solicitors and property titles and is really going to change how real estate transactions are conducted.
'We would like to be the first company to transact in Bitcoin. It can be done quicker, more efficiently and it is much easier to deal with than using banks, which are putting in unnecessary over-regulation,' he told the Evening Standard.
Cryptocurrencies - so-called because cryptography is used to keep transactions secure - allow anonymous peer-to-peer transactions between individual users, without the need for banks or central banks.
They use blockchain technology, a shared record-keeping and processing system, that means digital money cannot be copied and spent more than once.
Although not illegal, Bitcoin is not considered legal tender in the UK. It operates without a government, central authority or bank managing transactions or injecting new Bitcoins into the market.
The term 'legal tender' has a very narrow and technical meaning, which relates to settling debts.
London Wall bought the Notting Hill property for £9.5million and has converted it from five flats back into a single residence. Pictured is the hallway and staircase
Bitcoin is not covered by UK regulatory protection such as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which compensates for loss of deposits of up to £85,000 in bank and savings accounts
It means that if you are in debt to someone then you can’t be sued for non-payment if you offer full payment of your debts in legal tender.
Furthermore, Bitcoin is not covered by UK regulatory protection such as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which compensates for loss of deposits of up to £85,000 in bank and savings accounts.
Controversial: Bitcoin cryptocurrency
The controversial cryptocurrency was launched in 2009 and is free from government control.
The Bitcoin system uses a complex computer algorithm devised by 'Satoshi Nakamoto' - whose true identity remains shrouded in mystery.
It allows users, which currently number six million, to carry out peer-to-peer transactions without using a bank to exchange the funds.
There are more than 250,000 Bitcoin transactions per day, according to research from Cambridge University.
However, the currency is also used by criminals for selling drugs and other illicit goods while North Korea is understood to be using it to bypass trade sanctions.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and Ethereum, are prone to volatile movement.
About a year ago, a single Bitcoin was worth £500. However the value has now risen to £2,928.
And then there is the issue of how to pay commission to estate agents and stamp duty to HMRC in Bitcoin.
The sale of the Notting Hill property would require a stamp duty payment of £1.95million.
'I'm sure leading London agents can figure out how to take commissions for a £17million property in cryptocurrency and I have full faith in HRMC to figure out how to tax it,' Mr Loginov told the Standard.
Bitcoin has been linked to drug trafficking and tax evasion but Mr Loginov and his business partner Ned El-Imad have hired advisers to make sure the currency has not been bought to launder money.
Eitan Jankelewitz, partner at law firm Sheridans, which specialises in technology, told ThisIsMoney: 'The transaction fees for Bitcoin can be extremely competitive, especially for higher value payments, because Bitcoin transaction fees are determined by the amount of data being sent and not the value of the transaction.
'HMRC is fine with merchants taking Bitcoin payments and has even issued guidance on the subject.
'VAT should be applied in the usual way to goods and services sold in Bitcoin.'
'Banks are generally OK with merchants accepting bitcoin payments too, but may ask questions if the volume of payments is particularly high.'
London Wall bought the Notting Hill property for £9.5million and has converted it from five flats back into a single residence.
It is not the first time property sellers in the capital have said they could be paid in Bitcoin, but none have previously said it is the only payment method they will accept.
A South London townhouse went on the market in September with the owner willing to accept Bitcoin.
The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Peckham was valued by estate agents at £1.65million.
And while its owner Daniel Roy will accept Pound sterling, he is also open to offers 'in excess of 500 Bitcoin'.
So is Bitcoin the future? According to Reuters, cryptocurrencies are big money and are now virtually as large as Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland combined.
On the up: The price of virtual currency bitcoin has topped the $5,000 mark for the first time