We’ve been watching the steady emergence of blockchain for real estate applications. Blockchain, which was introduced to the world through Bitcoin in 2009, is here to stay. How can we say so? It’s increasingly viewed as a change agent in the way business is done.
Some of Wall Street’s biggest banks — Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, the list goes on — are quietly integrating blockchain, the technology that spawned bitcoin, into their businesses. In fact, Wall Street firms have been experimenting with blockchain for years.
Regardless of what bitcoin does, blockchain technology will flourish. Tom Farley, ex-president of the New York Stock Exchange, says it will “rewire all financial services.”
Walmart Inc. has used blockchain in the company’s supply chain monitoring. In the world of deeds, some title companies have used it for recording homeownership, as the Wall Street Journal has reported.
Holding the deed to real estate is long associated with stability and financial security. What if some of that security could be shared by — and build up— communities?
This article is a thought experiment. Let’s imagine how things could play out if local residents could invest small amounts in a building. How would this unfold? Could blockchain make community-based real estate investments happen?
Bitcoin is volatile. It can change in value from one month (or day) to the next.
To a mortgage lender, bitcoin is a non-cash asset. It must be sold before the deal can go through. In other words, holding digital currency is like holding a Patek Philippe gold watch. Or a retirement fund. The holder must turn the value into cash before turning it into a home.
After conversion, a large deposit shows up in the holder’s bank account. Lenders scrutinize unusual deposits. So a mortgage applicant should season those converted funds ahead of the time they’ll be needed — at least two months in advance, most lenders say.
AI is about to change the way we create (and look for) listings. It’ll change the way our brokers and lenders gather and use knowledge. And it will change the way investors crunch numbers and make profits.
Citigroup is a leading global investment bank. And it says blockchain “could be a good fit” for real estate.
Traditional real estate often lacks transparency, relies on a lot of middle people, and is generally cumbersome to sell, according to Citigroup’s new report Money, Tokens and Games: Blockchain’s Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value.
Citi notes a few ways blockchain could soothe those pain points:
In April 2023, in a U.S. first for cryptocurrency, Coinbase enabled bitcoin purchases of Texas real estate.
In June 2023, real estate in other “select states” will be available.
The company behind the integration is a startup named MyEListing. Based in Cedar Park near Austin, Texas, it’s a free-to-use marketplace for investors. MyEListing displays both listings and data, along the lines of the Zillow or Redfin websites.
Both residential and commercial properties are listed on its website, and its new tool on the U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will enable people to buy real estate with bitcoin.
Last year, Fidelity launched its Metaverse exchange-traded fund — the ETF with the ticker symbol FMET.
The Fidelity Metaverse Index tracks the current development of a future internet. According to Fidelity’s website, the metaverse will blend “augmented reality and virtual worlds” and enable many people to be work, play, and invest in these settings, “persistently and in a shared environment.”
It sounds like a projection of our current lives. But in the metaverse, we’ll enjoy experiences remotely, whenever we’re ready. As Andrew Kiguel, CEO of metaverse property investment firm known as Tokens.com, told CNBC: “You can go to a carnival, you can go to a music concert, you can go to a museum.”
“Incredibly sturdy, bizarrely anti-fragile”: that’s bitcoin, according to Anthony Scaramucci.
Most of our readers likely remember the name. Anthony Scaramucci was a White House communications director for that fleeting, ten-day period back in July 2017. Scaramucci worked at Goldman Sachs quite a bit longer (1989 – 1996), and now runs the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital. “The Mooch” decided to buy a home with bitcoin in New York City, during the 2021 crypto boom.
Crypto hasn’t been all rainbows and roses since then. Scaramucci got burned in the infamous FTX meltdown. Disappointed but undaunted, Scaramucci puts it all down to crypto’s growing pains, and points to the 77 million cryptocurrency holders in the United States as evidence of a solid trend.