Man wants $2 million in Bitcoin – not cash – for his NYC pad
A Manhattan millennial is stepping up his efforts to crater crypto by selling his nearly $2 million Columbus Circle condo for bitcoin or ethereum instead of cash.
“I know the market is crashing, but I believe in cryptocurrency,” said Ronen Segev, who is selling his posh apartment — a seventh-floor two-bedroom condo at 340 West 57th Street — for $1.8 million. of dollars.
Segev, who sells used Steinways through his company, Park Avenue Pianos, bought the apartment for $1,025,000 in foreclosure during the 2009 financial crisis, then invested half a million to renovate it .
But over the past 18 months, his wallet has been pounded by falling digital ducat prices. Segev’s retirement investment in crypto-related security Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Corp took a six-figure hit after betting big on the fund in late 2020.
“The losses there are almost a million dollars,” he said. “So now my goal is to double that loss.”
(The cryptocurrency has lost more than 50% of its value this year and about 70% since November.)
If he asks someone to pay for the crypto for his crib, Segev, 42, plans to put the proceeds into a short-term fund for his immediate needs.
“I think now is a better time than ever to get into bitcoin,” he said. “I’m optimistic for the long term.”
He said he bases his confidence on the existence of a “basic human need” for crypto.
“I buy pianos from China and they go through so many hurdles to convert yuan to dollars. It’s the same with Europe. It makes sense that everyone is part of a universal currency.
“The Ethereum network, I see it as similar to the internet – a growing technology. There were some growth issues with Google, but it served a very useful purpose and it thrived.”
Segev previously pocketed a nice bitcoin profit.
In 2019, a buyer bought one of his pianos with Bitcoin and Ethereum, and he combined those coins with money he had in a savings account to acquire a $1 million stake in the two currencies.
“Then the pandemic hit,” he said. “And my million turned into two million.”
He therefore cashed in and invested the entire sum in the purchase of an apartment in Paris – also free of foreclosure, he said. That $2 million home — right downtown — is now worth around $3 million, said Segev, who also owns a stretch of beachfront in Miami.
“It’s one of the riskiest things I’ve ever done,” he said.
His New York condo, meanwhile, has a checkered history.
Its 30-by-20-foot Great Hall is big enough for Segev to have hosted piano concerts for crowds of up to 90 people, he said.
“Everyone can see the performer and not feel overcrowded,” said John Chubet, a Compass broker who sells the apartment and has attended music events in the unit. “The space is so cozy and inviting.”
But before he could even set foot in the apartment, Segev had to evict an artist who paints erotica who owned the house but lost it to the bank and then squatted there for six years, according to banking and court records.
“I bought it unseen via auction.com on the understanding that I would have to take care of getting it out,” he said.
“I finally saw the apartment and she had moved her bed to the breakfast/kitchen area – I guess she liked breakfast in bed. The bedroom was an office where she practiced her erotic art.