- Two UK entrepreneurs announced a $US327 million property development in Dubai last year.
- Some of the apartments are being sold in bitcoin.
- Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone and her billionaire partner Doug Barrowman are behind the project and told Business Insider that all 50 of the apartments so far offered in bitcoin have been sold.
LONDON — A batch of 50 Dubai luxury flats offered for sale in bitcoin have all been snapped up.
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone and her billionaire partner Doug Barrowman announced plans last September for a $US327 million ($A417 million) property development in Dubai that would see apartments offered for sale in bitcoin.
Barrowman told Business Insider earlier this month: “We allocated 50 out of 1,300 developments. We’ve sold all out. Some bought ones and twos, and one individual bought ten.”
Construction has begun at the site, located in Dubai’s Science Park, and it is scheduled for completion in 2020. It is being developed by Barrowman’s Dubai-registered firm Aston Developments, part of the Knox Group, which manages a $A2.59 billion portfolio of assets including commercial property.
Prices range from studio apartments for US$130,000 — currently about 15 bitcoins — to two-bedroom apartments priced at $US380,000, or about 45 bitcoins.
Michelle Mone told Business Insider that there were a “mixture” of buyers but that “a lot” fit the stereotype of early bitcoin devotees — young male programmers in t-shirts.
“Actually, the team got a relationship going with them as well,” Mone said. “They would talk on the phone — they’re not just like in their hoodies in the dark in the rooms.”
Mone and Barrowman discussed sales at their Dubai development during an interview to promote their latest project, Equi, a cryptocurrency-powered investment platform.
“I like to see this crypto space being used to buy real-world assets,” Barrowman said. “That’s the spirit of Equi as well. It’s transcending the crypto space into the physical and real world.”
Mone said: “It was Doug’s passion and it was his baby because he was frustrated being in the cryptocurrency world with nothing to offer the community.”
Barrowman added: “We’re still getting lots of inquiries. We’ve not released another batch. Particularly when bitcoin was riding high in the charts. I think a lot of people were cashing out over the Christmas period.”
The pair initially pledged to sell a total of 15o apartments from the development in bitcoin, suggesting more batches will be released in future.
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