Can you really buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency?

Several developers have announced they are accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies for units in their projects. But the question remains; can you really buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency? Like many tech-driven services involving new processes, the answer is complicated.

Let’s start with an important fact. You can’t legally buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency as a foreigner. This was something confirmed by Sansiri in a recent Bangkok Post article. Now, that doesn’t mean the door is entirely closed, but it explains why you aren’t transferring your coins to the developer directly.

Homebuilders like Ananda and Origin are promoting the fact that you can buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency. In reality, this is replacing the process of a wire transfer. All developers accepting digital monies require you to have a wallet on a Thai cryptocurrency exchange, such as Bitkub.

That’s because they can’t legally accept Bitcoin and the like for purchases. Homebuilders simply need a way to convert cryptocurrency to Baht which is only possible via one of the local exchanges. At this stage, that process varies among developers.

Some require you to convert the cryptocurrency into cash which you can then transfer to them. Others will allow you to transfer it to their wallet where they handle the conversion. Either way, cash is still used to complete the transaction.

This doesn’t mean you should dismiss the process entirely. But you are looking at various fees which may reduce the savings versus a traditional wire transfer. This is especially true if you aren’t already using cryptocurrency and will need to acquire that as well.

The main benefits of buying Thailand property using cryptocurrency are obviously related to time savings. Everything can be done from your phone or laptop and is completed in a matter of hours, not day.

Related: Where can foreigners own freehold property in Asia?

Should you buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency?

Seeing as the process to buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency is more of a glorified wire transfer than anything else, the risks aren’t particularly high. Developers are only working with exchanges licensed by the Ministry of Finance, so there is no concern that these firms are going to be shutdown.

If you are familiar with using digital currencies and using multiple exchanges, then you can buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency confidently. On the other hand, if you are looking to jump into the Bitcoin pool to save some money, do the math before getting started.

Like most new digital services in Thailand, the process needs more time to grow and become streamlined. There will eventually be a day when you can actually buy Thailand property using cryptocurrency. At the moment though, it’s nothing more than a money transfer method no matter what developers say otherwise.

Read More: 3 key questions facing the Thailand property market in 2021