Local companies are helping bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors diversify their assets.

Early bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors have seen huge gains in recent years. But how can someone who’s raking in the value with cryptocurrencies turn those digital dollars into something more… real?

A growing number of businesses, including local companies Hillstone Capital and Coinme, are stepping in to help pioneering investors diversify their portfolios and turn their cryptocurrency into assets like real estate or cash.

Hillstone Capital, a private Bellevue-based real estate investment firm recently began accepting bitcoin as payment for real estate investments. Christina Robbins, the firm’s creative director, said Hillstone wants to assist bitcoin investors with integrating into the mainstream investment market.

“Cryptocurrency can seem intangible, but technological advances make it a simple conversion process to USD that can then be directed into a real estate fund like Hillstone,” Robbins explained. “We’ve made it easy for our clients to transfer their bitcoin gains and diversify their investments directly into real estate, a much more stable investment.”

Unlike Hillstone Capital, Seattle-based Coinme aims to help further liquidate an already liquid asset, by turning cryptocurrency into cash. Coinme has cryptocurrency ATMs all over the U.S., including in Kirkland, Lynnwood, and Seattle. The Seattle startup also helps advise investors with larger transactions, crypto retirement, and more. Coinme CEO Neil Bergquist spoke with 425 Business about the trajectory of cryptocurrency and how it’s becoming more aligned with real-world markets.

On bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies becoming more of a visceral, tangible investment option:

“If you look at the amount of capital that has flown into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, right now we’re looking at about $500 million that is invested in cryptocurrency. There are people who have made millions and millions of dollars.”

On the growing relationship between real estate and other real-world assets and cryptocurrency:

“It’s an example of how you create these onramps and offramps for the cryptocurrency economy, and that’s essentially the conversion from cryptocurrency to fiat, or to real-world assets. I think you’re going to see real estate organizations accepting cryptocurrency, so people can use their proceeds to buy a house. You’re going to see more e-commerce websites accepting cryptocurrency to buy goods. You’re going to see it getting more and more intertwined into our daily lives.”

“What you’re seeing is real-world assets like dollars, or real estate, or titles, or gold getting put onto a blockchain, and often times if it is tied to a real-world asset, the value of that asset on the blockchain is the same as the value of that asset in the real world. But since it sits on the blockchain, it can move at the speed of the internet.”

On the relationship between Wall Street and cryptocurrency:

“I was in New York meeting with some funds on Wall Street just a few months ago and it was very clear that they have woken up to the power of cryptocurrency, and the opportunity in it. Wall Street wants to make money, and they’re realizing there’s an opportunity to make a lot of money in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. An individual told me that there are about 96 hedge funds in the process of being created right now, with the sole purpose of investing in bitcoin. It takes about 6 to 18 months to get those funds set up.”

“The amount of money that is flowing into cryptocurrencies from the institutional investors is astounding. I can’t say I’m surprised. If you look at the returns that have been generated for people that have been in the cryptocurrency space to-date, they’re unbeatable. So, I’m not surprised that the institutions are waking up and going full speed ahead.”