Brighton tenants can now pay rent in cryptocurrency through Mashroom

Those renting a property through the online lettings management platform Mashroom can now pay their rent in a virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency based on a network distributed across a large number of computers.

Mashroom announced it will be accepting cryptocurrency from today, and said the payment process would be very similar to standard card payments.

The online platform allows landlords to let their properties without going through an estate agent.

Stepan Dobrovolskiy, chief executive and founder of Mashroom, said: “Nineteen per cent of the homes in England are occupied by private renters, and for an increasing number of them, cryptocurrency is the payment method of choice.

“With such a large demographic, we have to move with the times to avoid alienating anyone, and accepting crypto payments is the natural next step for a business in 2021.”

It comes after the cryptocurrency market crashed on Thursday following a single tweet from Elon Musk, which announced his electric car company Tesla would no longer be accepting Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles.

Mr Musk said he was concerned about “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel”.

He wrote: “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment.”

Bitcoin, the world’s largest digital currency, saw its value drop about five per cent to 51,847 dollars (£36,883) after the news.

The digital currency relies on computers, and therefore electricity, to exist.

The number of computers and the energy needed to power them is rising – and the growing value of Bitcoin is directly tied to the amount of energy it uses.

A 2019 study by researchers at the Technical University of Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that, in late 2018, the entire bitcoin network was responsible for up to 22.9 million tons of CO2 per year – similar to a large Western city or an entire developing country like Sri Lanka.

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