A Manhattan millennial is doubling down on cratering crypto by hawking his nearly $2 million Columbus Circle condo for Bitcoin or Ethereum instead of cash.
“I know the market’s crashing, but I believe in cryptocurrency,” said Ronen Segev, who is peddling his swanky pad — a two-bedroom, seventh-floor condo at 340 West 57th Street — for $1.8 million.
Segev, who sells pre-owned Steinways through his company, Park Avenue Pianos, bought the apartment for $1,025,000 out of foreclosure during the financial crisis of 2009, then sunk half a million into renovating it.
But over the past 18 months, his portfolio has been pounded by plunging prices for the digital ducats. Segev’s retirement investment in crypto-linked security Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Corp took a high six-figure hit after he bet big on the fund in late 2020.
“The losses there are almost a million dollars,” he said. “So now my goal is to double down on that loss.”
(Cryptocurrency has dropped more than 50 percent of its value this year and about 70 percent since November.)
If he gets someone to pay crypto for his crib, Segev, 42, plans to put the proceeds into a short-term fund for his immediate needs.
“I believe now is as good a time as ever to get into Bitcoin,” he said. “I’m bullish long-term.”
He said he bases his confidence on there being “a basic human need” for crypto.
“I buy pianos in China and they go through so many hoops to convert yuan into dollars. It’s the same with Europe. It makes sense for everybody to be part of a universal currency.”
“The Ethereum network I see as similar to the internet — a burgeoning technology. There were growing pains with Google, but it served a very useful purpose and it thrived.”
Segev previously pocketed a nice profit from Bitcoin.
In 2019, a buyer purchased 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 one million turned into two million.”
So he cashed out and put the whole sum into buying an apartment in Paris — also out of foreclosure, he said. That $2 million home — right in the center of the city — is now worth about $3 million, said Segev, who also owns a beach-front spread in Miami.
“That’s one of the riskiest things I’ve ever done,” he said.
His New York condo, meanwhile, has a colorful history.
Its 30-foot-by-20-foot great room is big enough for Segev to have hosted piano concerts for crowds as large as 90 people, he said.
“Everyone can see the performer and not feel overcrowded,” said John Chubet, a Compass broker who is selling the apartment and has attended musical events at the unit. “The space is so comfortable and inviting.”
But before he could even set foot in the apartment, Segev had to evict an artist who paints erotica and had owned the home but lost it to the bank, then squatted there for six years, according to bank and court records.
“I bought it sight unseen through auction.com, with the understanding that I would have to deal with getting her out,” he said.
“I finally saw the apartment and she had moved her bed into the breakfast/kitchen area — I guess she liked breakfast in bed. The bedroom was an office where she conducted her erotic art.”