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A brand-new villa on the southern coast of Bali has just changed hands — for somewhere above 800 bitcoins. In what appears to be the largest real-world-money purchase in bitcoin's history, an anonymous buyer has picked up a new house for the cryptocurrency equivalent of about $500,000.
The news, first reported by virtual currency news site CoinDesk, comes from the CEO of BitPremier, a marketplace for luxury goods that can only be paid for in bitcoin. Though he would not divulge the exact price or the buyer of the property at the DeLMango Villa Estate, he did indicate that the sale cleared on Feb. 19 for the equivalent of over half a million dollars.
The exact bitcoin amount is unknown as well — the buyer and seller would have had to come to an agreement on the exchange rate, which at the time of sale was about $610 per coin.
The speed and ease of bitcoin transfers was on full display, as Ronny Tome, the villa's seller, told The Wall Street Journal: "The whole thing was done in an hour. If we had gone through normal bank transfers, it would have taken a few days or a week."
This anonymous buyer isn't the only one to make a big bitcoin purchase lately. Silicon Valley investors the Winklevoss Twins recently shelled out a similar sum for two tickets on Virgin Galactic.