Company Lets Tenants Pay Rent in Bitcoin

December 4, 2017

A New York–based rental platform for landlords and tenants has announced that it will start accepting bitcoin for monthly rental payments through its mobile app early next year. The platform, ManageGo, will then convert the bitcoin to dollars using Coinbase, a digital cryptocurrency broker. Landlords will ultimately receive rental payments in dollars.

But the value of bitcoin can be volatile, so ManageGo says the value of the currency will be locked in at the time of each payment. “We lead in innovation, so we saw bitcoin as something that’s going to happen and become a standing currency sometime in the future,” Chaim Lowenstein, vice president of business strategy at ManageGo, told CNBC. “Right now, there are types of clients we have whose tenants fit the profile, and we wanted to offer [bitcoin payments] as the new amenity beyond a fancy gym or a new couch in the building.”

The company will offer the service nationwide. But some multifamily execs are questioning whether there is much demand from tenants to pay their rent in bitcoin. Toby Bozzuto, CEO of developer The Bozzuto Group, which manages more than 70,000 apartment units, told CNBC that so far, they’ve seen zero interest in bitcoin payments from renters. “You don’t know who owns it, and that’s the knock on it. It’s been considered black market with a dirty reputation,” Bozzuto says. However, “If this becomes a consumer shift, like Apple Pay, we are always looking for ways to increase the ease of rent payments. I’m not closed-minded enough to say it’s off the table.”

Source: “Now You Can Pay Your Rent in Bitcoin,” CNBC (Nov. 30, 2017)