Local Escrow Company Facilitates Refinance Using Bitcoin

Published on Sep 8, 2021

Glen Oaks Escrow, which has offices across Southern California including one in Pasadena, has announced that it has helped a homeowner refinance a property using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as the source of funds for the loan.

A subsidiary of the Glendale-based Pango Group, Glen Oaks Escrow has accepted payments in the form of cryptocurrency for three years, said Pango Group Chief Operating Officer Joe Curtis.

“This was an exciting transaction to be a part of, given that the scenario was a first for our organization, “ Curtis said. “Prior to this, Glen Oaks Escrow had only facilitated transactions in which the buyer used Bitcoin as the form of payment. Seeing a lender use cryptocurrency for a refinance shows us that this payment method is continuing to grow in how it’s used and who it’s used by.”

The transaction took place in San Diego, according to the company.

Since the company began accepting cryptocurrency as payment in 2018, “consumers have turned to it on several occasions for their preferred payment method,” Glen Oaks Escrow representatives said in a written statement.

“Considering we have now seen a party other than the home buyer using Bitcoin in a real estate transaction, it tells us that this technology has the potential to continue becoming more prominent, even if it is still considered new to our industry,” according to the statement. “We look forward to supporting many more cryptocurrency transactions in the future and are very proud that we’ve pioneered the way to implement systems and processes that allow us to accept it.”

Although the company can accept payments using cryptocurrency, it does not hold the asset, but rather converts the cryptocurrencies to cash, Curtis explained.

“We can accept things like Ethereum and a couple of others through our exchange partner called BitPay,” he said. “And we basically convert those cryptocurrencies into U.S. dollars, and that’s the vehicle in which we do the escrow. So we don’t actually hold Bitcoin or cryptocurrency.”

While interest in using cryptocurrency in real estate transactions is growing, it still remains relatively rare, overall, Curtis said.

“To give you kind of a general sense: In 2018, you could count the number of transactions that we did on one hand, and now, you can count it on two,” he said.

What lies ahead will depend a great deal on the performance of cryptocurrencies, Curtis said.

“When Bitcoin’s at $51,000 a Bitcoin, and it was at $10,000 three years ago, that has generated a tremendous amount of wealth for those people that have those cryptocurrencies. And so I think it’s probably a logical thing with a volatile currency for people to want to kind of take some of that gain that they’ve had and translate it into tangible assets, like real estate,” Curtis said.

“I think it’s going to become more accepted as more people realize and understand more about it,” he said.

“It creates a lot of buzz. Cryptocurrency has created a lot of wealth. Some people are very pro-cryptocurrency, some people are very skeptical of it,” Curtis said.

“I think this idea of tokenizing real estate is a really interesting one,” he added. “…the ability to own fractions of a piece of, let’s say, commercial real estate. I think that that can have some really interesting implications in the future. I don’t think that we’re quite there yet, but I think in the coming years, we’re going to see a lot of innovation in that space.”

More information about Glen Oaks Escrow can be found on the company’s website https://glenoaksescrow.com.


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