One of Northern Ireland’s largest homebuilders, Hagan Homes, has announced that they will start accepting the digital currency Bitcoin as a form of payment.
It is believed the Ballyclare-based company will be the first firm of its kind in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland to start accepting the digital currency.
This payment system allows peer-to-peer transaction between individuals without an intermediary.
Managing director of Hagan Homes, Jamesy Hagan highlighted: “Bitcoin is an innovative new payment method and essentially a new kind of money. It is very similar to a cash transaction.
“There has been a significant growth in the use of Bitcoin worldwide and our acceptance of this new channel reflects our willingness to respond to the market.”
Hagan Homes recorded a turnover of over £18 million in 2016/17 and marked its second biggest year of property completions since it was established almost 30 years ago.
207 properties across 15 sites were completed in Northern Ireland, an 8% rise on the previous year.
Mr Hagan continued: “The international appeal of Northern Ireland is continuing to grow.
“There are an increasing number of international investors establishing businesses in Northern Ireland and subsequently this means that the number of people wanting to live, work or invest in Northern Ireland is increasing.”
Mr Hagan also recognised challenges facing the new currency.
“Of course, there are some risks to using Bitcoin for payment due to the cryptocurrency’s volatility, but buyers and sellers are finding creative ways to deal with these challenges,” he said.
“By incorporating the learning from our peers into our approach we can embrace this innovation.”