Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Featuring decentralized rental platform, Rentible.io
The relationship between blockchain technology and PropTech was largely initially popularized as the concept of transforming real estate with Blockchain via tokenization started to make its first appearances in public, largely from 2019.
When looking at each technology through a separate lens, and then looking at them side by side, the understanding of why Blockchain and PropTech have the potential for a revolutionary synergy becomes clear.
While PropTech introduced an approach to real estate in which technology is utilized to benefit users on a global scale and enables them to search, rent, buy, sell, and manage a property intuitively, it also opened a door for many to exploit the anonymity of the internet for cybercrime, mainly for fraud, scam, and data theft.
Blockchain technology, on the other hand, brings among other attributes all the characteristics of increased security that can prevent these exact problems (as well as other added value innovations), yet due to its relative “infancy”, it still lacks the intuitiveness aspect.
If we look at the above macro-level complementary differences, we can also see how the two technologies even further intertwine. In PropTech, we have different verticals serving different niches - be it rentals, sales, or property management.
All of these different ingredients, when mixed, are steadily pushing forward towards the decentralization of PropTech and advancing it into the Blockchain age.
Enjin, a successful NFT project, made a parabolic stride in 2021 and has joined forces with LABS group to democratize the real estate industry with NFT Property titles, a process in which LABS Group aims to harness Enjin’s Platform to mint and issue NFTs that represent fractionalized real estate assets, a nextgen solution for the sales aspect of real-estate.
Rentible.io is employing DeFi principles and trustless smart contracts for the rentals and property management sector, aiming to remedy existing market problems and to enable tenants and landlords to conveniently send and receive rental payments in different cryptocurrencies.
“The origin story of Rentible goes a couple of years back, to two flatsharing platforms for international students in London and Budapest, which grew to support over a million users. The know-how of the market gained during this period and the understanding of the pain points rife in the industry and their actual real-life effect on people, have set the foundations for Rentible”
The mid-to-long-term property rentals industry is valued at $3.2 trillion, and with 1.12 billion rentals globally and shared economies estimated to reach $335 billion by 2025, it presents many opportunities for new technologies, alongside many breaches appealing to “bad faith actors‘‘. When also taking into consideration that the number of crypto-wallet users, currently estimated at over 100M, is expected to soar in the coming years, the revolutionizing change across the industry is inevitable, much like the manner in which DeFi changed core finance practices at the beginning of 2021.
Some of the main market problems that Rentible is addressing rotate around security, liquidity, and data ownership. Ironically, one of the most overlooked problems existing in many mid-to-long-term current-gen property rental platforms is also the one impacting individuals the most. Fraudulent deposits and “let and run” schemes have a massive impact on an industry-wide level as well as on a personal level, and constitute a focal problem in the industry causing substantial loss of money and privacy.
Examples from around the world include a case in Florida, where 18 families fell victim to such a fraud and transferred upfront a deposit of $1000 each to secure a property, only to discover that it didn’t exist. In another instance, expats in Spain fell victim to scammers who tricked prospective tenants into sending thousands of euros in deposits before fleeing to Italy. In the UK, which is a hotspot of online property scam and fraud, a student in Bristol was tricked into sending £1,800 as a deposit on a non-existent property, while in London, an online scammer deceived 17 victims and embezzled their deposits for a room which he was supposedly offering, contributing a small part to the more than £918 million lost due to property fraud in the UK alone over a year. Property rental scams listed on Facebook Marketplace are now worrying commonplace, it can be hard to tell which rental listings are real and which are a scam.
The other side of this problem comes in the form of data theft, where online scammers
trick victims to send their full personal details (including scanned copies of passports and other forms of IDs and bank account details) as part of “signing online the rental contract” excuse. This not only breaches private data ownership but also enables the perpetrators to use the stolen personal details to further run similar online rental scams under a “new identity” on other victims.
A main focus of Rentible.io is to create a seamless and efficient platform where participants can benefit from much lower costs than is possible on centralized platforms via disintermediation. For this, the employment of immutable tamper-proof records designed to eliminate the risk of fraud, widespread scams, theft of private data and manipulation of privacy is a pillar of the Rentible’s ecosystem architecture. It’s aim, to protect the privacy and funds of its users by utilizing blockchain-technology attributes.
When it comes to accessibility and mass adoption appeal, while many homeowners, landlords, and tenants will be interested to send/ receive rent-related payments in cryptocurrency, the vast majority of them have no easy gateway or an intuitive platform, or desire to use crypto, to make this option viable.
Despite the many headlines in the news about Bitcoin serving as a store of value, the vast majority of landlords, although some may be interested to get into the crypto sphere, simply don’t know how to make even the basic step of opening an ERC20 wallet, and here Rentible seeks to enter and position itself as a first-mover in the sector. Rentible introduces a blockchain-integrated PropTech platform which enables tenants and landlords to seamlessly send and receive rent payments in different cryptocurrencies, making this option accessible to everyone, not only to crypto-savvy enthusiasts as is the standard today.
When it comes to liquidity, tenants sometimes might not have the funds immediately available to pay rent or a deposit to secure a flat, but might have the money in crypto. Rentible’s solution for this comes in the form of a community liquidity pool, that will enable those in need to put for example Bitcoin as collateral in order to draw a short-term bridge loan to gap this predicament.
Rentible.io aims to make sending and receiving rent payments and deposits in cryptocurrency between tenants and landlords as easy as a click of a button.