In July, Falcon Private Bank became the first Swiss bank to allow its clients to trade Bitcoins using their cash deposits. It even installed a Bitcoin vending machine in the lobby of its Zurich headquarters. Bitcoin has had a volatile year with prices for one unit of the cryptocurrency currently hovering around the $4,500 mark.
This week, Michelle Mone, a member of the of the House of Lords and a former economic advisor to David Cameron, has initiated a luxury real estate venture in Dubai where customers can use bitcoins to buy property. The Aston Plaza & Residences located at the Dubai Science Park, a 20-minute drive from Downtown Dubai, is a mixed-use property. It consists of a shopping mall and two 40-storey towers containing 1,133 residential units including studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Prices start at 33 Bitcoins and increases to around 85 Bitcoins for a two-bedroom apartment.
Mone, a lingerie tycoon who founded underwear brand Ultimo, has launched this £250 million project along with her billionaire partner and Chairman of The Knox Group, Doug Barrowman. Construction is already underway and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2019.
John R Harris & Partners have been appointed as the architects for this project. Buyers can use additional Bitcoins to kit out the apartment with furniture and employ the services of Mone’s own interior design company called Michelle Mone Interiors. The Plaza will include three floors dedicated to retail including a supermarket, café, restaurants and boutiques.
Bitcoin processing platform BitPay has been roped in to process the payments for this 2.4-million sq ft project. BitPay has already been contracted by some of the world’s biggest companies including Virgin Galactic and Microsoft.
If you’re still trying to figure out what Bitcoin is (you’re not alone), read our primer about the star cryptocurrency here.