The First Flat To Be Sold In Bitcoins In Spain

Cryptocurrencies turn ten years; 2019 could be the year of tokenizationVarious countries have suddenly started recognising cryptocurrencies in their financial laws and courts

We have read that in Tarragona, a province in Catalonia, a flat has been sold for 40000 bitcoins, because that’s what the owner wanted. The day of the transaction, that price was the equivalent of half a million dollars…on the day of the transaction. That is what the buyer paid, although we don’t know what amount the seller was left with afterwards. If the bitcoin has gone up, the buyer has gained more in dollars and what I would do is to convert them quickly into dollars to guarantee the gain. If the bitcoin has fallen, the buyer will have lost the corresponding amount of dollars multiplied by the number of bitcoins.

The bitcoin, as we don’t get tired of saying, is a fickle product which rises and falls as we can see in the graphic.



In other words, it can easily lose 30% of its value in one day. You can also gain, but if you do then you have to convert that gain into dollars, so you don’t lose it. We need to remember that the bitcoin is illiquid. Banks and credit cards are reluctant to take on something which is so risky and are obsessed with doing this not all at once, but in short sections, which can make the seller nervous if he sees that between one section and the other he has lost 40%.

I don’t know how that transaction involving the flat in Tarragona was carried out. I don’t know how the notary was able to take down a precise testimony. What I do know is that both the buyer and the seller have played a game of Russian roulette. The former had to buy bitcoins a day before, and up until the day of the transaction the bitcoin could have risen or fallen various times, which would have made him nervous. And it’s not guaranteed he got the best price. The seller won’t have experienced any less anxiety for the same reason. But the worst may come later for him, if the bitcoin falls. His purchasing power might be badly hit if it turns out that the bitcoin, and thereby the value of the flat, drops 40% in next to no time. The reality is that he will never find out for certain how much he sold the flat for, unless he converts the bitcoins into another currency.

About the Author

Miguel Navascués
Miguel Navascués has worked as an economist at the Bank of Spain for 30 years, and focuses on international and monetary economics. He blogs in Spanish at: http://