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Canadian Family Accepting Bitcoin Offers On Their House

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A Canadian couple is looking to sell their home for bitcoin.

Camilla Stephan-Heck and her husband are seeking $2.2 million for their five-bedroom, 5,788-square-foot mansion on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, according to The Globe and Mail. But the sale is unconventional -- the couple is open to accepting the volatile cryptocurrency bitcoin in exchange for the home.

"I read an article about the utility of bitcoin and I said, 'Would we accept bitcoin for our house?'" recalled Stephan-Heck. "[My husband] said, 'I'd be open to it.'"

"It's not done every day," she added.

The couple, who listed their home in November 2017, are seeking to downsize now that their children have moved out. In January, they began advertising the home on cryptocurrency sites.

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"We dabble in cryptocurrency ourselves," said Stephan-Heck. She said they had started by purchasing some bitcoin and another cryptocurrency, ethereal, in October 2017.

"We're fairly diversified in our investments, bitcoin was gaining notoriety and we started doing some research," she said. "We've done reasonably well on it ... it's enough to have fun with."

The couple has said they would accept an offer either fully or partially in bitcoin, but their real estate agent has asked to be paid in Canadian dollars. Stephan-Heck and her husband are not in a rush to sell the property, and are not paying a mortgage on the home.

Bitcoin has fluctuated wildly in value, with one bitcoin worth around $980 in the beginning of 2017, and hitting a high in December 2017, where a single bitcoin was worth over $17,500.

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The cryptocurrency is prone to wild swings in value. For example, on Jan. 11, bitcoin's value plummeted about $2,000 after news broke of South Korea planning to ban cryptocurrency trading, according to The Guardian.

"There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and [the] justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges," said South Korean Justice Minister Park Sang-ki.

Bitcoin's value started to recover a few hours later.

Stephan-Heck and her husband are not the first to take a major chance on bitcoin. A 39-year-old man from the Netherlands was reported in October 2017 to have sold all of his house and all his possessions in exchange for bitcoin, according to Business Insider.

Didi Taihuttu is now reported to live with his family on a campsite in the Netherlands, where he is waiting for bitcoin to dramatically rise in value. He's said he hopes by 2020 the bitcoin wealth he has accumulated will be worth three or four times as much.

"People will say, 'You’re crazy,'" said Taihuttu. "But we are an adventurous family and are going to gamble for a moment to live minimalist lives. If you never take a risk, life is boring."

"The internet was a revolution for information. I think that blockchain and cryptocurrency are revolutionizing the monetary system," added Taihuttu. "In five years' time, everyone will say: 'We could have seen it coming.' I am responding to this change now."

Sources: The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, The Guardian / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Antana/Flickr, Camilla Stephan-Heck via The Globe and Mail

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