Real Estate and Blockchain

Welcome to –  Exploring Blockchain Technologies for Real Estate Applications.

How does Blockchain apply to Real Estate you might ask?  After an in-depth look at the emerging technologies surrounding distributed ledger solutions, the short answer is it has the potential to lower costs, shorten timeframes and streamline a market that has many built in inefficiencies.   From international transaction settlements to title issues, blockchain related services aim to revolutionize the process of buying and selling real estate to the advantage of businesses and consumers alike in an industry that has been historically protective of it’s entitled stakeholders.

An interesting Real Estate Blockchain service out of Switzerland called BrikBit is busy defining an ecosystem for Real Estate Digital Assets utilizing the Lisk Platform to enable Real Estate Projects to create their own blockchain as a BrikBit sidechain.   An upcoming October ICO for their BRIK token will help gauge the current market sentiment for this cutting edge tech.

Helping to further the goal of Real Estate on the Blockchain, we give props to the International Blockchain Real Estate Association for their sponsored events and extensive resource of videos from prior conferences. Thanks IBREA.

Trading and Lending on the Blockchain

Turning Real Estate into a digital asset that is easily traded is the dream of many with a recent venture of Intercontinental Exchange called Bakkt bringing that dream a step closer to reality.  Bakkt is making great strides towards securitizing tokens and bringing institutional financial exchange power to the cryptocurrency market. With lofty goals of offering a federally regulated market for bitcoin, this is a player to watch.

Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation in New York City, a company that operates as a third party in the business of securities trading, has plans to begin recording $11 trillion worth of credit default swaps in late 2018.

Fund manager Mark Yusko, chief executive and chief investment officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management, recently announced his firm’s partnership with Bitwise, a manager that offers cryptocurrency indexes and index funds, to launch the Digital Asset Index Fund. The fund’s minimum investment is $50,000. It tracks a new index: the Morgan Creek Bitwise Digital Asset Index (MCBDAI).

Decentralized Margin Trading and Lending platforms utilizing blockchain tech are starting to make entrances into the market with offerings from the bZx and MakerDAO communities already generating buzz.

Smart Contracts on the Distributed Ledger

Enabling real estate related smart contracts utilizing a blockchain will change the nature of escrow, contracts, title, deeds and other property records lessening the reliance on traditional closing services and hopefully provide needed monetary relief at the closing table.  A daunting task indeed. Thankfully, the challenge has been taken up by several players in the emerging distributed ledger tech field with new entrants seeming to pop up every other week.

An interesting use case was featured in a recent story on about a New York based company doing real estate commission splits utilizing the smart contract platform. Baby steps, but promising.

Another exciting player in the realty blockchain business is PROPY with their offering of international properties being purchased and sold integrating blockchain tech to secure the transaction and facilitate cross-border payments.

How to Buy Cryptocurrency

We recommend Coinbase for your first foray into a Cryptocurrency Exchange with the added bonus and caveat that they have an affiliate link offering free bitcoin to both parties for referrals.  Our first trades on their platform went smoothly and the smartphone apps they offer are easy to use and navigate. At the time of this writing, Coinbase had 5 different cryptocurrencies trading that included Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin with rumors of more alt coins coming to the platform soon. To get started trading requires linking a bank account or debit card.  Not all financial institutions are keen on losing customers to cryptocurrency and some have been known to shut user accounts and deny access to crypto-exchanges. To avoid this, we decided to set up a fee free online banking account with the added benefit of lowering some transaction fees that come with moving money around. After looking at our options, we chose online banker SIMPLE due to many factors including no fees, ATM access and their easy to use Mobile Apps; they also offer a $20 referral to both parties for the first purchase made on their debit card.  One more service we are in the process of evaluating is the Robinhood investment platform that is now offering trading in cryptocurrencies. In addition to offering a free stock for signups on referral, they have a sleek looking smartphone app that makes investing in stocks and cryptocurrency seem less intimidating somehow.