Miami-based fintech company Milo has launched crypto mortgages for customers looking to purchase homes with digital assets.
The company said it will offer 30-year crypto mortgages in the U.S. with low-interest rates so customers can leverage their bitcoin to buy real estate. What’s more, no down payment will be required for the financing.
Milo CEO Josip Rupena told Business Insider that the company has already granted loans to customers in the early-access stage and more loans would be available this year.
“I think this product really is a game-changer for many, many people. It accomplishes a lot of the aspects of what this consumer wants, which is to just continue to hold their bitcoin and be able to diversify and buy real estate – another fantastic wealth-creating asset,” Rupena said.
On its website, Milo says it is the only company offering the “world’s 1st crypto mortgage.” It further states that no tax returns or credit scores are required and Milo is the direct lender.
“At Milo we’ve reimagined how mortgages should be done by considering your crypto wealth,” the website states. “Instead of selling your crypto for a down payment to qualify for a mortgage, a crypto mortgage lets you leverage your crypto to invest in real estate. Our strategy matches yours – keep HODLing.”
Rupena said they came up with the idea for Milo after hearing “countless stories” of people cashing out their bitcoin to purchase property, only to see the value of their bitcoin increase later, Cointelegraph reported.
“[It is often] very difficult for [crypto holders] to qualify for a mortgage because the existing framework with banks and other lenders out there don’t consider that crypto wealth. What that means is that they have to look for alternative ways of buying real estate,” Rupena said. “Once they sell their bitcoin or crypto, that creates unintended consequences of having to realize gains and tax consequences.”
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Milo was founded in 2018 and raised $6 million in seed funding in January 2021 from investors including QED Investors, MetaProp and !0X Capital, according to a press release.
“Our mission is to reimagine how global consumers access financial solutions in the US – in a way that actually caters to them. Today, that means delivering a simple, fully digital home lending approach while offering a deep understanding of US investing,” Rupena said in a statement. “This funding is helping us move closer to fulfilling our mission for millions of global consumers. We’re thrilled to have QED and so many great investors on this journey with us.”
Users on social media were excited about the possibilities.
“This is something the ‘bitcoin as an investment’ camp can take advantage of,” @Marketsbylili wrote. “A real estate investment trust or a business registered with the state who holds bitcoin on their balance sheet but would like to expand their presence into other locations can use this too.”
“This is a game changer which brings ‘buy, borrow, die’ capabilities to the #crypto holding masses,” @WEissCrypto tweeted. “The world of finance is changing right before our very eyes, and the tools of the rich are now being redistributed to everyone.”
“3X THIS WEEK I WAS TOLD MY CRYPTO & NFTs WERE WORTHLESS AND HAD NO VALUE I HAVE $0 FIAT IN THE BANK , SH*T TRADITIONAL CREDIT , AND NO CREDIT CARD OTHER THAN MY CRYPTO.COM ONE CONNECT WALLET & APPROVED FOR 2.5 MILLION DOLLAR MORTGAGE THE BANKS ARE DONE,” @dazed_crypto wrote, along with a screenshot from an online application with Milo.
“Huge fan of Milo, a Miami startup and first to launch crypto mortgages,” Shai Goldman tweeted.
Others were more skeptical. “Mortgages, Miami, unregulated, what could go wrong?” @JoeLallouz tweeted. “What could possibly go wrong?” @Shaul Davis echoed in a separate tweet.
Another user, @sytaylor, said he thought Milo was “sensible” but was skeptical about using crypto as a deposit. “This wasn’t what I mean. Milo is actually very sensible. It’s just, using crypto as a deposit / security. I meant like mortgaging $LAND in @TheSandboxGame, etc,” @sytaylor wrote.
Tech and crypto-friendly Miami Mayor Francis Suarez called Milo’s crypto mortgages a “groundbreaking achievement” and welcomed the innovation.
“To become the Capital of Capital, Miami needs companies like Milo who are willing to innovate and ideate,” Suarez said.
PHOTO: Bitcoin cryptocurrency background. A bunch of golden bitcoin, Digital currency. Credit: Tevarak. istock