$20M Real Estate Sale Looks To The Blockchain

Blockchain has made further inroads beyond cryptos and toward the transfer of assets, in one latest example – real estate.  Elsewhere, the IBM/Maersk partnership focused on improving shipping supply chains gains some traction with a new member based in Hong Kong. 

In the digital payments space, it used to be people built holdings of tokens.

Now people can use tokens to buy holdings of buildings.

Fortune reports that “in the first offering of its kind” blockchain tokens are being used to buy a piece of real estate.

In this case, the real estate is located in South Carolina, and is tied to a luxury student residence located near the University of South Carolina. The real estate is known as “the Hub.”

The owner is Convexity Properties, which as Fortune reported is looking to raise as much as $20 million from the token sale. The tokens are considered securities and will “eventually” be able to be sold on exchanges.

It’s been well noted in this space that blockchain advocates state the immutable distributed ledger system allows for efficient and relatively cheaper transfers of assets and information.

That is one of the guiding attractions of the blockchain underpinning his particular token sale, as Josh Stein, CEO of Harbor, the firm that designs the tokens, told the financial publication. There are fewer transaction costs tied to the real estate transactions, as, for instance, there are no lawyers’ fees attached.

The CEO stated that the blockchain real estate offering of the student residence will serve as a “template” for other transactions, which will be marked by increased liquidity.

“Think of it like the transition from snail mail to email that occurred in offices in the 1990s. The content was the same but the digital format made it faster, cheaper, and easier to send,” he told Fortune.

Stein said the Harbor-designed tokens cannot be bought and sold as freely as might be seen with bitcoin. The executive stated that Harbor’s design incorporates code that in turn facilitates compliance with know-your-customer laws, among other regulations. The code helps ensure that the real estate tokens can not be sold to unqualified holders.

Separately, Don Wilson, who serves as CEO of Convexity Properties’ parent firm, DRW, said the Hub tokens also feature the right for holders to receive a 5 percent dividend.

In other blockchain news, headlines in recent months have said that the IBM/Maersk partnership geared toward supply chains and based on blockchain had hit some choppy waters. The project, as noted by reports, had been struggling to sign on new participants.

Headlines this past week state that Modern Terminals, the second-largest container operator based in Hong Kong, has joined TradeLens. The latest announcement brings the port operator and terminal count to 20, and encompass 234 docks across five continents, noted CCN.com. The initiative comes as the shipping supply chain remains inefficient and where the inefficiencies were responsible for billions of dollars in losses through the past decade.

Among the ports on board: Port of Valencia, PSA Singapore, Patrick Terminals, Port of Halifax, Port of Bilbao, PortBase, PortConnect and the Port of Philadelphia. The ports had been documenting and keeping track of shipments via paper means. TradeLens has said that a trial run reduced shipment times by as much as 40 percent and helped stakeholders realize savings.

“That is the Holy Grail — one place to see the whole [supply chain] in one spot,” Modern Terminals Managing Director Peter Levesque said in an interview with the South China Morning Post, which went on to note that the executive said the  platform would operate as “the single system that shippers, freight forwarders, imports and terminal operators can all work with.”