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Billionaire Rick Caruso’s real estate firm will start accepting bitcoin as rent payment

Summary List PlacementBillionaire Rick Caruso's real estate firm announced that it will start accepting bitcoin as rent payment — a first within the global residential and retail space. Caruso, one of the largest real estate companies in the US, is the latest in a growing list of major institutions from...

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Summary List Placement

Billionaire Rick Caruso’s real estate firm announced that it will start accepting bitcoin as rent payment — a first within the global residential and retail space.

Caruso, one of the largest real estate companies in the US, is the latest in a growing list of major institutions from Tesla to PayPal that have begun to accept the digital asset as a form of payment, subject to applicable laws, the company said on Wednesday.   

The Los Angeles, California-based company also announced that it invested part of its treasury management in bitcoin, similar to what Jack Dorsey’s Square did in October last year, and partnered with Winklevoss-founded Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian.

This partnership intends to bring cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, and blockchain applications to Caruso properties as a way to engage their millions of visitors, the company said, 

“I believe bitcoin and cryptocurrency will play an important role in our collective future,” Caruso said in a statement.

The executive also said that he hopes to enhance the experience of his guests by introducing blockchain-enabled rewards and enabling cryptocurrency payments. 

Bitcoin has risen to record highs due in large part to support from major institutions. The cryptocurrency has thus far soared more than 100% year-to-date and 600% in the past 12 months.

While bitcoin’s rally has stalled in the past days, it tested the $60,000-level record last week after Visa enabled the use of USD Coin and CME Group revealed expanding its suite of crypto offerings with micro bitcoin futures.

As a whole, cryptocurrencies have seen their market capitalization double to $2 trillion in just three months.

There’s a “growing shift for companies to accept this digital currency as a form of payment,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said. “Bitcoin mania is not a fad in our opinion, but rather the start of a new age on the digital currency front.”

However, the analyst added that only less than 5% of public companies will invest in bitcoin over the next 12 to 18 months as regulations are fleshed out.

Caruso, a privately held company, owns and operates a diverse portfolio of retail, residential and mixed-use properties. Included in its portfolio are The Grove and The Americana at Brand; luxury residential building 8500; and The Masonic Temple.

Read more: Hedge fund manager and TikTok sensation Alpesh Patel breaks down the 3 need-to-know processes for retail investors — and why he has ‘FOMO’ trades on 2 cryptos

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