Propy, A Blockchain Real Estate Startup, Could Change How You Buy Property

Here’s the scenario: You're a newly minted bitcoinaire after the cryptocurrency's dramatic run-up, and now you want to diversify your cryptoassets.

Real estate is a good way to diversify your investment into something tangible, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of transferring your investments to fiat currency.

Enter Propy.

Propy is a new real estate platform where you can buy property entirely online — and it's potentially a good outlet for quickly transferring bitcoin wealth into hard assets.

“To [bitcoin or ethereum users], holding just crypto is like holding everything in one basket, so users are looking to diversify through purchases like real estate. They will use us because it's an easier way to diversify their investment and use cryptocurrency right away,” Propy CEO Natalia Karayaneva told Benzinga.

The Menlo Park, California-based company said it's the first to close a sale a real estate sale on the blockchain in October in the Ukraine; it was the first peer-to-peer cryptocurrency payment for real estate and ownership transfer on blockchain approved by a government. The company now has its eyes on the California real estate market.

Related Link: What Is A Blockchain And What Does It Do?

The Of Real Estate? 

“Bitcoin is transferred on blockchain. There are millions of people transferring ‘the money’ value on blockchain," Karanayeva said. "We are transferring property ownership as a value on blockchain. And we aim to build a government-agnostic system, where ownership will be governed by the blockchain system, and governments will only set up rules and receive notifications about deals and taxes.

"This will prevent nationalization of land as happened in communist countries, cure corruption and 'dead capital’ of unrecorded land in developing countries." 

Understandably, this could have huge disruptive potential for both the real estate industry as well as legitimizing the use of blockchain in real-world applications. Propy, which has been called the Amazon of real estate, is targeting foreign buyers — particularly in China, where a sizable amount of bitcoin users and miners reside.

“We are helping our users and brokers find customers abroad by focusing on China. We help customers to close transactions and we close them online and ‘on-chain,' where every step is immutably timestamped. Users receive an electronic title deed with a blockchain hash within a day and within hours the transaction could close. The hard copy from the recording office will be received as usual,” Karayaneva said. 

Faster Transactions, Higher Turnover

Given the current ascension of coverage, knowledge and use of cryptocurrencies, it's in the best interest of anyone in real estate to become familiar with bitcoin and blockchain to potentially capitalize on the next wave of real estate disruption. Fortunately for brokers, through Propy, they won't have to become blockchain experts to utilize the technology. The platform is designed to empower traditional real estate brokers through the deployment of blockchain.

The company argues that while traditional brokers will still be relevant in the era of blockchain, the closing process of a real estate sale will be disrupted through blockchain by reducing the execution time to purchase a property, leading to an increase in real estate turnover. Blockchain recordkeeping is also expected to significantly reduce the risk of dishonest recordkeeping in mortgage processing, an issue that contributed heavily to the 2008 financial crisis.

Propy recently raised $15 million through a token sale in September. The company as of now accepts only cryptocurrency, but plans to begin accepting fiat currency by February 2018.

Photo courtesy of Propy.

Posted In: NewsTop StoriesStartupsExclusivesTechInterviewReal EstateBitcoinBlockchainCaliforniaChinaCryptocurrencyEthereumNatalia KarayanevaPropy