Florida home first in US sold as NFT; buyer pays $654K in cryptocurrency

GULFPORT, Fla. — A Florida home became the first in the U.S. to be auctioned off as a non-fungible token on Thursday, selling for more than $654,000.

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NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are purchased through online transactions.

The Spanish-style, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home with a garden suite, located in the west-central Florida city of Gulfport, sold for $654,310, or about 210 Ethereum, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Propy, a California-based real estate technology company, confirmed the sale was a first for U.S. real estate, according to the newspaper.

The starting price for the home was $650,000, The Associated Press reported. The home’s current owner, Leslie Alessandra, told the Times that comparable homes in the area have sold for more than $700,000.

Propy minted the property rights into a digital token. NFTs are normally used for digital collectibles like art and music, according to the newspaper.

A user named “A.J.” bought the house during an hour-long extension of the auction, the Times reported. The buyer’s first name is Amanda and the person is U.S. based, Propy CEO Natalia Karayaneva.

“This is a real tangible, real-world application of that technology,” Alessandra told BayNews 9. “So, when we NFT the ownership documents, it’s instantaneous ownership transfer and that can be from anywhere around the world, which is very powerful.”

Christopher Vasilakis, a real estate and virtual-reality expert, told the AP that the transaction was “essentially just selling a company and a company owns that house.”

Propy plans to mint 10 more properties across the U.S. as NFTs, Karayaneva told the Times. The company’s next listing is a condominium unit in Tampa, Karayaneva said.

The condo will be listed on the blockchain market on March 2, Karayaneva told the newspaper. She did not specify where the condominium was located but said its current value is about $200,000 to $300,000.

Karayaneva added that she was surprised when more people did not bid on the Gulfport home.

“At the end of the day, the people who really wanted this home, they got it,” Karayaneva told the Times.