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Real estate developer willing to trade his $7.85 million Las Vegas mansion for Bitcoin

By Travis Gettys
Monday, December 16, 2013 12:00 EDT
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Jack Sommers Vegas mansion
 
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A property developer and former casino owner is selling his Las Vegas mansion for $7.85 million, and he’s willing to accept payment in Bitcoin.

Jack Sommer, a commercial developer who once owned the Aladdin, said he got the idea to accept the digital currency from his two sons, who have been stockpiling and trading Bitcoin for computers, software and other items.

“The advantage is that we’re expanding our market and adding some notoriety,” said Sommer, who said he wants a smaller home now that his seven children are grown and have moved out.

Real estate expert Craig Tann, of Prudential American Group’s Estates of Las Vegas, said the 25,000-square-foot home is the first Las Vegas-area home to be marketed around Bitcoin, which is worth $877 as of Monday morning, up from $10 in January.

It’s almost certainly the most expensive home marketed anywhere with the digital currency.

“This house was an exercise in how many cool details we could put in,” Sommer said.

The home has 39 air-conditioning zones powered by a 120-foot cooling tower, and Anna Nicole Smith shot a movie in the 2,000-square-foot guest house.

The library shelves are made of stainless steel and covered in American cherry wood, and the owner’s suite has a view of five fairways on the Spanish Trail Country Club’s golf course.

Julian Tosh, a Bitcoin-merchant consultant and owner of BitcoinsInVegas.com, said the digital currency is ideal for streamlining international business transactions.

“There are a bunch of people who have Bitcoins, and they’re dying for a place to spend it,” he said. “If you increase awareness of potential buyers, you could tap into new markets.”

Tosh agreed that Bitcoin could open Sommer’s home to a global audience.

“There are a bunch of people who have Bitcoins, and they’re dying for a place to spend it,” he said. “If you increase awareness of potential buyers, you could tap into new markets.”

Users buy Bitcoins through an exchange website that automatically converts them into foreign currency when buying and selling across international borders.

The currency has been around since 2009 and don’t require a bank account or aren’t regulated by any government.

A California dealership recently sold a $103,000 Tesla to a Florida man using Bitcoins, and a Canadian man listed his home for the Bitcoin equivalent of $405,000.

But Tosh said the currency was volatile and risky, despite its advantages.

“Locking in a price for such a large transaction is going to be kind of difficult,” Tosh said. “If the value is changing 30 percent a day, how do you quantify that in a contract and expect each side to hold on for 30 to 90 days while escrow clears?”

Watch this virtual tour of the home posted online by Jack Sommers:

 
 
 
 
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