Acceptance of bitcoin, a sometimes maligned virtual currency, has stepped up from small transactions for sandwiches and online dating to what may be its biggest deal yet: a luxury villa in Bali.
An unidentified buyer in Texas paid less than 1,000 bitcoins, worth more than $500,000, for a two bedroom, two bath luxury villa at Bali's Del Mango Villa Estate, in what may be bitcoin's largest transaction to date.
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"As far as we know, there's nothing that comes close to this," Alan Silbert, CEO of BitPremier, a website which lists luxury items for purchase with bitcoin, told CNBC. "There have been some luxury car sales – Tesla, Lamborghini. So I think this is by far the priciest item that's sold by bitcoins."
Bitcoin is a "virtual" currency that allows users to exchange online credits for goods and services. While there is no central bank that issues them, bitcoins can be created online by using a computer to complete difficult tasks, a process known as mining. Bitcoin has slowly been gaining greater acceptance for transactions, with businesses ranging from pizza parlors and hotels to online retailers allowing customers to use it for purchases.