How a Bitcoiner used BTC to buy his mom a house


There is a special bond between mothers and their children. For the pseudonym Alan, a 28-year-old engineer, a Bitcoin (BTC) loan helped his mother buy a house.

Alan told Cointelegraph that he took out a Bitcoin-backed loan in 2021, coincidentally on his sister’s birthday, to gift his mother the money tax-free. He then used the funds to buy a house in North Yorkshire, England, while Alan kept his Bitcoin.

Yorkshire, England, known as “God’s Own Country.” Source: North Yorkshire Council

Alan first used Bitcoin in 2012 and found it to be a useful currency for buying things online. He used the peer-to-peer (P2P) service localbitcoins.com, whose team are regular contributors to Cointelegraph, to buy Bitcoin.

Alan described the process of buying Bitcoin from real people as a “weird experience”. He explained that the experience of 10 years ago is incomparable to the use of popular exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken or Binance today.

Throughout his studies at university, Alan’s interest in Bitcoin waxed and waned until 2014 came around and the “less than 100 pounds,” or $130, that Alan had in Bitcoin turned into a “couple of grands.” . Alan explains the “transition” from Bitcoin, the currency, to something else:

“Bitcoin had real utility, from buying things online to having real value. Now I have this anonymous money, or ‘anonymous enough’ money, with real value.”

Holding on to Bitcoin for the long term might make sense, as the P2P money created by Satoshi Nakomoto could be an investment tool or store of value.

Fast forward to 2016, and the price per Bitcoin was around $753 or 600 pounds. Alan knew it was “something worth buying”, but Alan was still a student and had his head down for exams:

“He had no cash, and whatever Bitcoin he had he was using to buy things.”

Alan talked to his father and suggested that it might be worth “investing a couple thousand” in the orange coin. Unfortunately, his father didn’t invest in 2016, but Alan hung on.

The 2017 Bitcoin bull run turned around and the price per Bitcoin reached almost $20,000. At the time of Alan’s second halving, the process by which the Bitcoin miner’s reward is cut in half, causing a supply shock, his Bitcoin was beginning to grow in monetary value.

In the summer of 2021, with the price in the $40,000s, negotiations for Alan’s mother’s house came up in conversation. Alan knew how she could “help” and, better yet, he knew he could take out a loan so he wouldn’t have to sell.

He chose Celsius, a centralized financial platform that deals with decentralized cryptocurrencies for cash. Despite the interest in other cryptocurrencies and awareness of decentralized finance (DeFi), Alan explained that using a centralized finance provider offers a “perception of lower risk” as they are backed by venture capital:

“One expects them to be a bit more resilient than DeFi protocols. Also, the 25% loan on value is a good limit that they put on me because otherwise I would probably be liquidated.”

On his sister’s birthday, sometime in August 2021, Alan took out a Bitcoin-backed loan at 25% loan-to-value and 0% interest with Celsius. He quickly transferred the money to his mother to reach the total sum required for the new house.

Bitcoin price in August 2021. Source: Cointelegraph

He put up 2.08 BTC as collateral to generate $25,000 for the purchase over a 36-month loan term. Alan’s mother was delighted with his generosity and upon learning that the money came from a Bitcoin loan, Alan says she commented, “That’s great!”

Cointelegraph reached out to Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius for comment. He explained that it is “an honor to serve a community that wants to do good for others,” adding:

“We hear a lot of great stories about clients starting businesses, building businesses, buying homes, taking care of others, even climbing mountains using Celsius loans.”

Alan cautions about his experience with Bitcoin-backed loans, explaining that he has taken out more Celsius loans to buy other things, but with a caveat: “Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s crap.”

Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky with Cointelegraph during Paris Blockhain Week. Source: YouTube

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Ultimately, Alain explained that while “Bitcoin has a bad rap in the press, the more good things people do with it, the better.” Furthermore, he has shown that he does not necessarily need to sell his Bitcoin to be generous.

“Many people have had the incredible luck of turning small amounts of money into ridiculous amounts of wealth. So yeah, give me some back somewhere nice. Whether it’s for the family or just for charity in general.”

Alan concluded that everyone should “buy their mother a house” or, better yet, he jokes, “buy my mother another house.”