Cryptocurrencies are definitely present in real estate today. PropyInc, a global block-chain real estate marketplace that is partnering with the state of Vermont in a pilot program, just recorded its first US deed by using block-chain technology without any “traditional” recording processes. The crypto-currency Ethereum was used exclusively to transact and record all the contracts and documents relating to this deed transaction.

Michael Schirling of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development said, “We are fortunate to have the cutting edge statutory framework that enables the use of block-chain technology and we will continue to work with our legislature to ensure that Vermont remains at the forefront of these (technology) innovations.”

The partnering of PropyInc and the state of Vermont was announced in January 2018. The City Clerk’s Office of South Burlington, VT is the designated signatory for the partnership.

In a press release from PropyInc., the company said “The Proply pilot will showcase the savings of block-chain distribution…(simultaneously) we are committed to making land record management systems significantly more efficient (and to maximizing) safeguards to ensure additional data integrity.”

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the practice of using crypto -currencies in real estate transactions is much more commonplace overseas. The Journal speculated that such crypto use internationally may just signal a more wide spread use in the US in the near future.

One of the first US brokerage firms, RE/MAX Action First in Tampa, to accept and use crypto-currencies in real estate transactions is an advocate of the speed, ease and security of this block-chain technology. Its president, Kenny Hayslett, said, “The mysterious thing about Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies is why they aren’t used more…it’s simply digital money – a medium of exchange…to safely and securely transfer assets.”

Hayslett believes that crypto-currencies help eliminate real estate fees as well as unnecessary industry delays that are ubiquitous to all real estate transactions. “Transactions could be settled in minutes, rather than in multiple days or weeks…” and (in terms of security, a primary industry worry), Hayslett is more concerned about wire transfers, at times fraught with fraud, than he is about crypto transfers.

Time will tell about crypto-currencies and real estate…likely sooner than later.

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