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Marlborough Sounds property for sale for Bitcoin, first of its kind in New Zealand

Two investors who helped kickstart a stalled Marlborough Sounds development are selling one of the sections for Bitcoin.

Sounds Lifestyle Investments director Joe Lupi​, of Wellington, and Blenheim businessman Lee Gilbert a flat site in the middle of the subdivision, valued around the $200,000 mark, in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Lupi said they decided to sell the property for Bitcoin because it was "quite a cool thing to do" and "no-one has ever done it here before".

If successful, it could be New Zealand's first cryptocurrency property transaction, he said.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Bindi Norwell said as far as she was aware, it was the first residential development in New Zealand to be marketed using Bitcoin as a payment method.

Lupi, who also owns Wellington's Century 21 First Choice Realty, and Gilbert bought the 121-hectare Kaiuma Bay development in 2013 from Marlborough winery founder Peter Yealands.

The subdivision, with a planned 95-berth marina, has been on the cards since 2004, but it came to a halt following the global financial crisis in 2008.

Between 2004 and 2013, Yealands poured $10 million into developing the site and gaining access and consents.

When Lupi and Gilbert took over, the project had 147 lots to sell and develop, as well as resource consent for marina. To date, 78 sections have been sold.

Lupi said they would just be selling the one section for Bitcoin at this stage.

"There seems to be a bit of Bitcoin buzz around at the moment.

"The value of Bitcoin is fluctuating quite a lot at the moment … So the amount of Bitcoin required to buy the one we've identified would depend on the exchange rate at the time of transaction," he said.

"We are still open to selling them for New Zealand dollars, or American dollars, or any dollars, but we'll just do one and see how it goes because no one has ever done it here before."

Lupi was not sure about the logistics, however the deal would be legitimate, he said.

"We will do it legally and officially, it will be a proper sale and purchase agreement."

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