Real Estate

Rick Caruso’s company to begin accepting rent payments in bitcoin

Billionaire Rick Caruso’s eponymous actual property company is leaping into the world of cryptocurrency, saying Wednesday it would begin accepting bitcoin as rent fee at its residential and retail properties.

The privately held agency stated it additionally has invested a portion of its company treasury in bitcoin and entered right into a partnership with Gemini, the cryptocurrency trade and custodian led by CEO Tyler Winklevoss.

“We believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. We believe that bitcoin is a right investment for us,” Caruso stated in an interview Wednesday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” “We’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital markets into bitcoin.”

The strikes from Caruso’s Los Angeles-based company characterize the newest institutional adoption of bitcoin, which is seen as one issue serving to the world’s largest cryptocurrency soar in worth in current months. Bitcoin was buying and selling just under $56,000 per coin Wednesday, up from round $11,000 apiece in early October, in accordance to Coinbase.

Tesla earlier this year purchased bitcoin utilizing money on its stability sheet, and the Elon Musk-led company later started to settle for it as fee for its electrical autos. Jack Dorsey’s Square additionally has bought bitcoin for its company treasury.

There’s additionally been motion from Wall Street corporations. Morgan Stanley was the primary huge U.S. financial institution to announce it will present entry to bitcoin funds for its wealth administration purchasers, CNBC reported final month. The non-public wealth administration group at Goldman Sachs additionally is predicted to quickly provide its purchasers funding autos for bitcoin and different digital belongings.

The Grove Mall in Los Angeles, California

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Caruso’s properties embody out of doors malls The Grove in Los Angeles and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, California. The Americana additionally has luxury apartments.

While shoppers will ultimately resume actions they paused throughout the Covid pandemic, Caruso instructed CNBC the well being disaster will lead to some basic conduct adjustments. “The companies that win their loyalty are going to be the companies that anticipate those changes and meet the consumer where they are, and that’s what Gemini is helping us do,” he stated.

“Cryptocurrency is going to be part of any 21st century retail and real estate experience,” stated Winklevoss, who appeared alongside Caruso on “Power Lunch.” Winklevoss and his twin brother, Cameron, are high-profile early crypto buyers and maintain bullish long-term views on bitcoin.

Caruso provided up one instance he may see enjoying out involving cryptocurrency and the company’s shopper rewards.

“Our loyalty program, what I envision in working with Gemini and the Winklevosses, is you will earn coin. You will earn a cryptocurrency,” Caruso stated. “You can use that cryptocurrency on the blockchain then to spend at our properties. Check into our resort. When you live with us, pay your rent. We create this whole ecosystem.”

Some critics of bitcoin have questioned its present worth, in addition to its utility as a method of transaction. Given its classification from the Internal Revenue Service, there are additionally tax implications of utilizing bitcoin to make purchases.

Caruso stated his company’s entrance into crypto is a part of a long-term guess. “It’s not about the next year or five years,” he stated. “We’re looking forward to the next decade.”

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