Caruso, the founder and CEO of Caruso, told CNBC’s Power Lunch program: “We believe that bitcoin is the right investment for us. We’ve allocated a portion of our capital allocation into it.”
Designed as a mixed-use property, Caruso properties include outdoor malls, luxury apartments, and mixed-use properties. Caruso’s brand is both investing in bitcoin and accepting it as a form of payment.
The firm said in a statement that it is committed to providing decentralized retail payment options to its guests through “uncomplicated, safe, and efficient transactions protected by blockchain technology.”
“I believe bitcoin and cryptocurrency will play an important role in our collective future, and working with Gemini will … add real value to our guest experience,” Caruso said in a statement. “We envision a myriad of opportunities where we can better engage our guests and enhance their experience on 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 for how this technology will bring people together.”
Recent bitcoin trading spikes have created concerns among some critics. It was trading at $56,000 per coin earlier this week, up from around $11,000 one year ago, according to Coinbase. In the past year alone, bitcoin has more than 600% in value.
Tesla, Morgan Stanley, and PayPal, among others, are among the companies that accept cryptocurrency for payment. Caruso’s real estate firm is part of a growing movement of companies accepting cryptocurrency as payment.
In the next 12 to 18 months, Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, told Insider, fewer than 5% of publicly traded companies are likely to invest in bitcoin as regulations continue to evolve. Still, there’s a “growing shift for companies to accept this digital currency as a form of payment,” Wedbush says. “Bitcoin mania is not a fad in our opinion, but rather the start of a new age on the digital currency front.”