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Caruso, the Los Angeles-based developer, is jumping into the cryptocurrency realm.
The privately held development company has invested in cryptocurrency through a partnership with Gemini, a cryptocurrency platform, and will allow tenants on its properties to pay rents through cryptocurrency.
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In its announcement, Caruso said it made “a significant initial investment in bitcoin as part of its treasury management strategy.” Caruso also said it has become the first real estate company to adopt the technology. The size of the investment was not specified.
Caruso indicated it will be accepting rent payments for residential and retail properties in bitcoin, subject to applicable laws.
“We have partnered with the most innovative company in cryptocurrency management and blockchain technology because they are reinventing the way we do business for tomorrow,” Rick Caruso, founder and chief executive officer of Caruso, said in a statement.
“I believe bitcoin and cryptocurrency will play an important role in our collective future, and working with Gemini now will bring unparalleled experiences and pioneering technology that add real value to our guest experience,” Caruso added. “We envision a myriad of opportunities where we can better engage our guests and enhance their experience on our properties like introducing blockchain-enabled rewards and enabling cryptocurrency payments. Partnering with Gemini on consumer applications will bring endless options, but we also see a future of how this technology will bring people together.”
Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini, credited Caruso with “pushing the real estate sector to new heights by embracing cryptocurrency for the benefit of both their customer experience and their own business operations. We are excited to help them execute their digital asset treasury strategy and advise them more broadly throughout their cryptocurrency journey.”
Caruso also said the partnership is intended to bring cryptocurrency; non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and blockchain applications to Caruso properties “as a way to engage the millions of visitors throughout their ecosystem and is a signal of Caruso’s steadfast belief in the future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, including its potential mainstream commercial and financial services applications globally.”
The Caruso company owns and operates a diverse portfolio of retail, residential and mixed-use properties. Some of the properties are designed as “town centers” a mix of retail, dining and entertainment concepts with plenty of outdoor space and landscaping and amenities, like trolleys, valet parking and fireworks, and an alternative to typical mall or high-street settings.
Caruso’s portfolio includes The Grove and Palisades Village, which are both in L.A., and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calif. Other Caruso properties are the Rosewood Miramar Beach resort, and The Masonic Temple, a restored 1929 Art Deco landmark converted into office space.
Gemini is a platform for cryptocurrency exchange that allows customers to buy, sell, and store more than 30 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin and Zcash. Gemini was founded in 2014 by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.