On Wednesday (April 7), American billionaire businessman Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of real estate and hospitality company Caruso, said during an interview that his company will soon accept Bitcoin for rent payments from residential and commercial tenants.
His firm is “a privately owned, industry-renowned company that blends best-in-class real estate with five-star hospitality to create a timeless collection of luxury destinations, featuring town centers, residences, offices, street-front retail, and a world-class resort.” One famous example of properties in their portfolio is The Grove retail, dining, and entertainment complex in Los Angeles.
The billionaire businessman made his comments about crypto during an appearance, alongside crypto exchange Gemini Co-Founder and CEO Tyler Winklevoss, on CNBC’s “Power Lunch”.
Power Lunch host Tyler Mathisen started the interview by asking Caruso what is the appeal of not only investing in Bitcoin but also accepting rent payments in Bitcoin.
“This is a really exciting announcement that we’re making. First of all, we believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. We believe that Bitcoin is the right investment for us. It’s part of our treasury management, and so we’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital markets into Bitcoin and we use Gemini as our platform in order to be able to execute that.
“What’s equally exciting is that there are applications that Gemini is doing, the Winklevosses are doing, that will literally be a game-changer in the retail experience for consumers, and I have always benefited from partnering with the most innovative, the most thought-forward people, and Cameron and Tyler are ahead of the curve on this.“
The host then asked the Gemini CEO to explain what kind of game-changing retail experiences would crypto be able to enable for Caruso’s company.
“Well, I think that cryptocurrency is going to have to be part of any 21st century experience, whether consumers shop and earn crypto back and rewards with the Gemini credit card, or they can spend cryptocurrency to buy things, or even NFTs to commemorate moments or authenticate for the provenance of goods, cryptocurrencies can be part of any 21st century retail and real estate experience.“
Caruso later gave an example of how he sees crypto enhancing his company’s loyalty rewards program:
“In our loyalty program, what I envision in working with Gemini and the Winklevosses is you will earn coin. You will earn a cryptocurrency. You can use that cryptocurrency on the blockchain, then spend it on our properties, check into our resort, when you live with us, pay your rent. We create this whole ecosystem because shopping is a commodity and the only way to create value and loyalty is to overlay an experience on it and reduce friction…“