London-based The Collective is the first UK housing developer to accept Bitcoin as currency.
The developer, which specialises in co-living spaces, will now accept digital currency as a deposit from new tenants – and they will be able to use Bitcoin to pay rent later in the year.
The move is said to be in response to demand from international customers.
Reza Merchant, chief executive of The Collective, said: “The rise and adoption of cryptocurrency globally, particularly Bitcoin, is a fascinating development in how people store value and transact for goods and services worldwide.
“With many savers and investors now choosing and becoming more comfortable with cryptocurrency, people will expect to be able to use it to pay for life’s essentials, including housing deposits and rent.”
The Collective’s Old Oak living scheme in North West London opened in May, with rent starting from £178 a week and with a standard deposit of £500 (the equivalent of 0.14964 bitcoin at the time of writing).
The developer has pledged to bear financial risk while holding the deposit, returning it at the original value when the tenancy finishes even if the value of the cryptocurrency plunges.
Jon Taylor, head of technology of The Collective, said: “One of the biggest barriers to the popularity of Bitcoin is making it more consumer-friendly, and we believe this will become established as an easy and convenient way to pay deposits.”