The Land Registry which lists homes sold and bought across England and Wales has said it “may” record payments for homes that are not made in the UK’s sterling currency.
However, in a woolly statement, it says that this is ‘not a recognition’ of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
EYE has asked for further clarification.
The Land Registry last night said that its own payments, made to it by the likes of property owners and conveyancers registering title, must not be in currency such as bitcoin. However, it has not seemed to deny that it will register house sales in bitcoin.
The ‘clarification’ came after EYE asked for further information on our story yesterday that a small property firm – whose activities include an estate agency as well as a new homes developer – claimed a first in selling a property whose price would be recorded by the Land Registry in bitcoins.
After queries that this was ‘fake news’, EYE asked the Land Registry a straightforward question: does it record sales in bitcoin?
Last night, in a statement the Land Registry told us: “In land and property transactions, we record when the price paid, or value, is declared. If the price paid is not in pounds sterling then we may record it.
‘This is not a recognition of the validity of the payment made but rather a record of the transaction.
“Our registration fee is payable on the pound sterling equivalent of the value of the property and this is declared to us by the conveyancer.
“We do not accept cryptocurrency for any forms of payment for our products or services.
“We register the ownership, interests and mortgages against land and property in England and Wales, regardless of the method of payment.”
Yesterday, the property firm involved in what it said were the first two homes to be sold in bitcoin, stuck firmly to its guns in saying that the Land Registry has agreed to record one of those sales in bitcoin.
Estate agent Edward Casson, of Go Holdings, told us: “Essentially the Land Registry have said that whatever the contract completes on – xx bitcoin, that’s what they will record.”
He said of the fake news claims: “You will always get doubters on areas like this because it is new and most can’t understand its concept … yet.”
Last night, after the Land Registry issued its statement, Casson said: “Essentially they can record it in any format but our conveyancing contracts are in BTC (bitcoin) for these sales, and the legal teams will advise the Registry so.
EYE understands that the Government is considering the impact of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin across all its departments, and that news media – including The Times, Telegraph and EYE – may be seen to have ‘jumped the gun’.