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Billionaire California real estate developer Rick Caruso, whose company owns several shopping malls, resorts and mixed-use residential and commercial properties, announced this week that his company, Caruso Properties, has invested around 1% of its portfolio in Bitcoin, reports the Los Angeles Times. . Significantly, the developer said it would accept Bitcoin as a rent or lease payment for residential and commercial tenants.
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The LA Times speculates that billionaire Elon Musk may be one of Caruso’s first Bitcoin tenants, as he is leasing space for a Tesla showroom at Americana from Caruso Properties at Brand in Glendale, California. Caruso told The Times that he had not spoken to Tesla. CEO about paying rent in Bitcoin at the moment, but Caruso said, “He may be the first.”
In February, Musk invested $1.5 billion of Tesla’s funds in bitcoin, and in late March he announced that customers could buy a Tesla with bitcoin.
However, accepting payments in the form of a currency that Bloomberg experts predict could reach more than seven times its current value next year makes financial sense. Using that same currency to make purchases, especially on anything other than tangible goods, could result in financial loss, especially if the United States begins to see inflation rise as many are predicting.
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Caruso told the LA Times that he hasn’t seen “a clamor” from tenants to pay rent in Bitcoin, and the asset may remain more desirable as an investment than a currency for the moment.
Yet as Caruso joins Musk as one of the world’s billionaires putting his faith – and his funds – in Bitcoin, which was trading at over $56,000 as of late Wednesday, the crypto could be on its way. to gain even more legitimacy as a currency. In recent months, financial behemoths such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have begun exploring the possibility of recognizing Bitcoin as a legitimate asset class.
Caruso’s investment in Bitcoin is part of a partnership with Gemini, reports the LA Times. The cryptocurrency exchange was founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, best known for suing Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their college social networking idea.
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