A Connecticut man is making history of sorts by offering to accept the virtual currency known as Bitcoin for his Southampton home.
Philipp Preuss, 42, and living in Stamford, has the four-bedroom home on the market for $799,000, listed with Amadeus Ehrhardt of Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons in Sag Harbor.
Preuss says he has nothing against conventional cash but that he's an investor in Bitcoins and a believer in their future potential to streamline financial transactions. So, he decided to give potential buyers the option.
"I'm not saying it will replace any other currency," he said Tuesday, "but there is a place for it in this world."
The Bitcoin offer is unusual in real estate, although The Associated Press reported last week that a casino owner-turned-commercial developer also is willing to accept Bitcoin for his Las Vegas home, for which he's asking $7.85 million.
Ehrhardt says he believes Preuss' offer is a first for any property in the Hamptons. Although the house was listed in October, the Bitcoin offer was just added Friday so he's gotten no reaction yet from prospective buyers.
Preuss, an international equities salesman, said he decided to sell the house when his family moved from Manhattan to Stamford, a much longer drive to Southampton.
Bitcoin was created in 2008. Individual Bitcoins exist only online and aren't regulated by any country or banking authority. Value is purchased through an exchange website with a mainstream paper currency, such as dollars or euros, though trading isn't government regulated.
An article on Bloomberg News earlier this month said that, while most Americans aren't familiar with the Bitcoin concept, the virtual currency is being accepted by growing numbers of businesses.