To sell homes using cryptocurrency or a blockchain is not yet something we normally see in our daily lives. However, Vermonter Katherine Purcell reportedly became the first American to sell her home using cryptocurrency on 20th February 2018. This is something extraordinary considering the large amounts of money involved in a house sale.
What’s So Special About Selling Homes Using Cryptocurrency?
Each year, people sell their houses in exchange for fiat currency. So, this real estate transaction involving cryptocurrency will not only go down as the first in American history books, but it will also be the first to use a blockchain. Notably, there now exists a record about this transaction on an immutable blockchain.
Moreover, the story goes back to 2017 when South Burlington, Vermont started recording real estate transactions on Ethereum. This happens to be a part of the pilot program in collaboration with Propy, a global real estate store.
A Bit About Propy’s US Pilot Project with Vermont
The announcement on Propy’s blog post is dated January 31st 2018, and it proposed the idea of utilizing blockchain technology for recording real estate documents. The blog post also goes on to appreciate the support Propy has received from Vermont’s Governor, Mr. Phil Scott.
Here is how the company explains the project and the role it can play in the widespread, commercial adoption of blockchain technology:
“This change will enable South Burlington City Hall to further support their citizens by reducing costs and efficiently increasing government functions.”
Furthermore, the company is actively pursuing its ideas outside the United States. In fact, Propy signed an agreement with the Ukraine government in September 2017, a country where, reportedly, the first transaction of buying and selling property using cryptocurrency and blockchain was successfully completed.
How is this important for blockchain technology?
Seeing digital currencies and blockchain being involved in more real life scenarios is great, however, authorities around the world have increasingly begun to crack down on the cryptocurrency market. They’ve called for tighter regulations in order to prevent unlawful and criminal activities being carried out using cryptocurrencies.
Despite the abuse of digital currencies, pilot projects such as this one are a positive sign for the crypto industry and a great example of a city government in the US working for the development of real-world applications using blockchain technology. Therefore, to sell a home using cryptocurrency is more than just a symbolic gesture. It is a great step which can set a precedent for other states and cities in the US to support blockchain technology initiatives.
In order to further support such projects, Propy aims to create a platform specifically for the real estate industry. The underlying idea is to help facilitate the buying and selling of real estate using cryptocurrency. Propy’s blockchain project backers intend to closely watch each transaction taking place from the point of initial interest in a piece of real estate to the signing of agreements, as well as title transfer.
The backers of Propy’s project for the real estate industry argue that it is one of the securest ways of sending the payment. They also state that the use of this method will ensure that the seller cannot deny that they received payment. Furthermore, they cannot alter the city records or try hacking into its servers. That’s because of the decentralized and immutable nature of blockchain, which prevents the seller from potentially deleting the record.
The Propy project is just in the offing and the city government seems to have bigger plans. Donna Kinville, the city clerk, explained that the project will have several stages of development. This transaction, to sell a home using cryptocurrency, is just the beginning, according to Kinville. If the city is able to successfully get through the initial stages, then Propy believes that it may one day completely replace the software that South Burlington currently uses for managing the land records.