Michelle Mone rose from a working-class Scottish background to become one of Britain’s most renowned entrepreneurs, thanks to the runaway success of her unique bra designs.
Mone exited the lingerie business a few years ago and was recently named a Baroness and given a seat in the House of Lords. But entrepreneurship was calling, and so Mone has announced a new joint venture with her business partner and boyfriend Douglas Barrowman.
The pair is building a residential tower in Dubai that comes with an interesting twist: It’s targeted at the crypto-currency community. Apartments in the 40-story tower will be listed and sold for Bitcoin, something the partners claim is a first for residential property.
Beyond turning a profit, Mone said she hopes the ensuing publicity around the project will raise more awareness and curiosity about Bitcoin.
“The majority of people on the streets haven’t heard of Bitcoin,” Mone said. “And if they have, they don’t know what it is. So we’re bringing Bitcoin to the masses.”
The apartments went on sale just after midnight in Britain on September 6 at Ashtoncryptoplaza.com. The prices start at 33 Bitcoin, or about $150,000.
The tower is expected to be completed sometime in 2019 and will be located above a massive mall in Dubai. The property will have 1,133 apartments that can each be bought through the website using Bitcoin. Once an apartment has been purchased, the owner can follow the construction process via webcams that will be placed onsite and streamed to the website.
Mone and Barrowman will initially post the first 150 apartments for sale. After the 50th apartment is sold, they will also give one away for free.
Though Mone is somewhat new to cryptocurrency, she now has a Bitcoin wallet. However, Barrowman has been a long-time supporter and investor into Bitcoin ventures. He believes the project will appeal to members of the crypto community who have been accumulating wealth and would like a way to diversify beyond other crypto currencies or initial coin offerings.
“It was a natural extension for me to view Bitcoin as a mainstream currency,” he said.
Together, the pair are betting that their long-term success in different business ventures and the transparency of the project will help convince crypto currency holders to trust them.
“We’re well-known business people,” Mone said. “And the crypto currency business world is built on trust.”