Billionaire Rick Caruso’s eponymous real estate company is jumping into the world of cryptocurrency, announcing Wednesday it will begin accepting bitcoin as rent payment at its residential and retail properties.
The privately held firm said it also has invested a portion of its corporate treasury in bitcoin and entered into a partnership with Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange and custodian led by CEO Tyler Winklevoss.
“We believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. We believe that bitcoin is a right investment for us,” Caruso said in an interview Wednesday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” “We’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital markets into bitcoin.”
The moves from Caruso’s Los Angeles-based company represent the latest institutional adoption of bitcoin, which is seen as one factor helping the world’s largest cryptocurrency soar in price in recent months. Bitcoin was trading just below $56,000 per coin Wednesday, up from around $11,000 apiece in early October, according to Coinbase.