How Bitcoin investors can use profits for a mortgage deposit

Investment in digital currencies has seen a rapid growth in the last year, but Bitcoin investors hoping to cash in and get on the property ladder could be facing problems as mortgage lenders refuse to accept deposits due to money laundering fears.

Lenders have to confirm the origins of a mortgage deposit, usually through bank statements or a signed letter if a monetary gift, but digitally held cryptocurrencies are anonymous, identifiable only by a digital address. British mortgage lenders’ inability to trace the source of a deposit is a big concern and is resulting in potential borrowers being refused mortgages.

Chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, Robert Sinclair, told the Financial Times: “The money-laundering aspect of cryptocurrency is the most complex issue here because it’s hard to prove where the initial investment came from.”

Industry experts suggest that the refusal to accept cryptocurrencies as a legitimate tender is hurting younger investors, who want to use their digital currency investment gains to get on the property ladder. Despite UK mortgage regulations allowing borrowers to use their sterling proceeds from cryptocurrencies as a deposit, most banks are not confident that borrowers will have the extensive audit trail and proof of identification to guarantee that they will not be breaching anti-money laundering regulations.

Some lenders are paving the way for cryptocurrency derived deposits

However, all is not lost. For those wanting to use their digital currency investment profits as a mortgage deposit, there are lenders that might consider you. Nationwide, Aldermore and Santander have all stated that they have no policy on deposits acquired through digital currency investment, and The Coventry Building Society, Skipton and The Yorkshire Building Society will accept deposits derived from Bitcoin profits with appropriate proof.

It might take slightly longer, but simply holding onto your investment profits in your sterling bank account for six months might make all the difference, since lenders request bank statements dating back three or six months. Proof of ‘ownership’ for that length of time should be enough to satisfy most lenders, without raising any questions about the origin of the deposit.

The end of last year saw the UK’s first properties sold using Bitcoin instead of sterling, bringing cryptocurrency into the mainstream property market.

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