The average US home is worth less than 20 Bitcoin
It's fair to say that, in its current state, Bitcoin does not work as a means of payment for basic things. The average transaction fee is over $20, which makes common purchases, like a cup of coffee, virtually impossible to justify. However, as I noted in my What can you buy with Bitcoin? piece, things are different when we are looking at very expensive purchases.
One such scenario where using Bitcoin makes a whole lot of sense is buying a home. The transaction fee is negligible, as the cost is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if we are looking at the median price of a US home.
Redfin says that it equates to $292,000 for homes in metropolitan areas with a population of 750,000 residents or more. In today's money, that's 16.4 Bitcoin. Based on historical trends, the equivalent amount in Bitcoin will decrease going forward (assuming its price continues on the same path and it does not implode).
You may be wondering why it matters. Well, as Bitcoin reaches mainstream status, more and more home owners will accept payment in Bitcoin. Redfin says that some of its agents worked with customers who owned Bitcoin to either buy a home or cover some related costs. Based on its research, there are 75 listings in which the seller explicitly said that they accept Bitcoin as payment.
The only real problem here is that Bitcoin is extremely volatile. The price can fluctuate greatly, so from the moment you consider spending Bitcoin on a home to actually signing the deal with the seller you may be looking at a significant difference in price. Less than two weeks ago, Bitcoin was breaking $10,000. Now, it's close to $18,000.
That's all fine. Assuming that Bitcoin holders simply don't care about future appreciation, you also have to keep in mind that the price does go down. This year, we've seen three major crashes in this space which sent Bitcoin's price down by thousands of dollars in a short time frame. Who's to say a future crash (which is very likely) will not see it go down again -- and for good this time?
Still, for those who want to take a chance, Bitcoin looks incredibly appealing these days. It's up around 1800 percent since the beginning of the year, and, if history is of any indication, more and more people will want to own some, which will drive the price up even further. For those who are looking at cashing out, spending their money on a home would be among the smarter purchases.