Another day, another peculiar bid to attract buyers to a real estate listing. This one comes courtesy of Jack Sommer, a Las Vegas real estate developer whose 25,000-square foot home was recently listed for $7.85M. Yet unlike most developers, Sommer will also accept offers in bitcoin—a virtual, non-government-backed currency, of sorts (read a thorough timeline over here)—which as of this morning means about 9,566 of the digital doubloons. Sommer, who once owned the Aladdin Casino on the Strip, got the idea from his sons, a pair of enterprising of digital natives who avidly mine, stockpile, and trade in the curious cryptocurrency. Despite bitcoin's pronounced volatility, and the apparent risk of accidentally throwing out a fortune's worth on an old hard drive, according to Sommer, the offer was made in the hope of "expanding our market and adding some notoriety." Given that the second most notable thing about the estate is the fact that Anna Nicole Smith once shot a scene in the guest house, think of this offer as an object lesson in controlling your own narrative.
Sommer describes the place as "an exercise in how many cool details we could put in," including library shelves of American cherry wood, marble imported from Iceland and Brazil, and a secret garden out back. The staff quarters on the premises and the prospect of an entirely digital purchase makes the place seems gauged toward an international buyer, although the owner's suite does look out onto the fairways of the Spanish Tail Country Club's golf course, which probably holds some significance for Vegas' deep-pocketed residents.
Though bitcoin is known more for its association with Silk Road, an online black market that recently got shut down by the Feds, this year saw at least one other piece of real estate listed in the currency, when a Canadian man put his Alberta home on the market for the bitcoin equivalent of $405K. Bitcoin has been known to drop in value as much 25 percent in a single day, so actually accepting them in this big a deal would certainly pose some risk. Then again, as Alan Feuer wrote in the Times this weekend, "bitcoin is—and always has been—a mostly ideological undertaking, more philosophy than finance."
· Home for sale: Asking $7.85 million, bitcoin welcome [Las Vegas Review-Journal via Business Insider]