A popular cryptocurrency analyst and pundit by the name of ‘Crypto Bobby’ yesterday recalled a discussion he had with a “NYC real estate broker” on his Twitter feed, who had apparently “sold a $3M apt in Brooklyn for $BTC when Bitcoin was $270, he took his commission in cash instead…”
Since then, Bitcoin’s value has risen exponentially and sits at $8,162.22 at the time of writing. With an overall market cap of $140,227,625,605, according to CoinMarketCap.
As such, as Bobby relayed in his tweet that
“He wasn’t happy when I told him his $80k commission check would be worth over $3 mil if he took BTC”
Ari Paul, CIO / Managing Partner of BlockTower Capital and proprietor of The Cryptocurrency Investor, followed up with a similar story in his reply.
Though unrelated to real estate he recounted a tale of similar regret and hindsight…
I met a working actress who was paid a dozen BTC when it was <$100 when she was working as a PA and totally forgot about it until we chatted about crypto. We waited we baited breath as she recovered her Coinbase password. She sold when it was $200 )-:
— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) July 30, 2018
Blockchain + Real Estate
Matthew Murphey, former Global Vice President at Renren (currently working across a range of advisory positions) stated in a piece published in Forbes earlier this year that “Cryptocurrencies Will Disrupt the Real Estate Industry”.
Murphy hails innovative companies which include “global real estate marketplace called Propy” which “operates a decentralized title registry and creates a space for buyers, sellers and brokers as well as escrow and title agents and notaries to come together to execute transactions using blockchain.”
NewsBTC has published itself a number of articles on promising new projects that have sprung up and grown within this previously untapped area also, including token based real estate investment platform BitProperty.
A long way to go
Whilst a large number of projects can be observed which attempt to bring cryptocurrency investment into the property investment paradigm (and vice versa), we have yet to see any of these examples breaking through and making continued headway either among investors, press, or the community.
According to recent coverage: ‘A Fifth of UK Millennials Would Rather Invest in Bitcoin Than in Real Estate’ which is a vast difference in opinion than what was presumably held by the same people when Bitcoin was in the $200s.
This claim is supported by the fact that the market value of all real estate grew by £517 billion year-on-year in 2015, and yet by only £493 billion in 2016 according to Statista.
Furthermore, another Forbes contributor by the name of Omri Barzilay laid out his own set of warnings to existing and potential homeowners seeking perform cryptocurrency-backed property transactions. Many of the reasons listed surround security, trust, and verification based concerns – to prevent fraud.
Until regulations catch up, or a highly secure block chain based real-estate project begins to develop a prominence in the market, we are unlikely to see the financial numbers match the ambition of the current roster of solutions.
We should consider ourselves at least a short while away from being able to declare the two a winning combination.
Foreign exchange settlement provider CLS, IBM (IBM.N) and nine financial institutions, including Barclays Plc (BARC.L) and Citigroup Inc (C.N), are testing a platform to access blockchain-based applications, the companies said on Monday.
The platform, LedgerConnect, will offer applications and services provided by different vendors in areas such as customer compliance checks, sanctions screening and collateral management, the companies said.
LedgerConnect – which is based on a model similar to that of consumer app stores – aims to make it easier and cheaper for financial firms to use blockchain-based software.
Blockchain, which first emerged as the system underpinning cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a shared ledger of transactions that is maintained by a network of computers rather than a centralized authority. Banks and other financial institutions have been investing millions of dollars in developing the technology which they believe can help them simplify some of their processes and cut costs.
While many blockchain-based applications are being tested by banks, few have gone into production.
CLS and IBM hope that LedgerConnect can help speed up adoption by making blockchain-based software for financial firms more readily available, they said.
Building and testing each application individually by banks would be too costly and time consuming, they said.
A shared platform run by an existing market structure provider can also help ensure that the applications by different vendors are vetted to meet the technical and security standards required by financial firms, Alan Marquard, chief strategy and development officer at CLS, said in an interview.
CLS settles over $5 trillion of payment instructions a day for its members which include many of the world’s largest financial institutions such as Barclays and Citi.
“Barclays is participating in the LedgerConnect proof-of-concept so we can gain an understanding and experience of a new network for blockchain applications – and also test some candidate use cases on that network,” Lee Braine, from the chief technology office of Barclays’ investment bank, said in an email.
After the platform has been tested, and provided there is sufficient market demand, CLS and IBM hope to make it widely available to the industry.