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Propy facilitates California's first blockchain-based real estate deal

By Mike Wheatley | July 19, 2018

Decentralized title registry firm Propy Inc. says it's just completed the first comprehensive blockchain-recorded property deal in California.

The Bitcoin-to-Bitcoin sale of 10 acres of land in Southern California was processed through Propy's Transaction Platform. Since every step of the conveyance was executed via Ethereum smart contracts, this marks not only the first fully-recorded blockchain transaction in California, but in the entire U.S as well.

A California licensed realtor, Kate Fomina, represented both Luke Carriere, the buyer, and Diana Dominguez, the seller. Carriere paid Dominguez in BTC for 10 acres of vacant land in Kern County, California. When the transaction began, Fomina was located in Hong Kong, Carriere was in New York, Dominguez was in Northern California, and the escrow agent was in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the exception of the notary signing for the seller, the entire cross-border purchase process occurred online through Propy’s Transaction Platform, and the title deed was recorded on the Propy Blockchain Title Registry and therefore on the public Ethereum blockchain.

Propy made legal history earlier this year in South Burlington, Vermont, by not only recording the first real estate conveyance on the Blockchain Title Registry, but also by placing Blockchain information on the conveyance instrument itself. The property deal in California is the first complete transaction fully-executed on the Propy Transaction Platform, where every step, including the signing of the purchase agreement, disclosures, payment and the transmission of the closing statements was initiated by smart contracts and respectively recorded on the blockchain registry. This ensured that the entire transaction is anchored to and verifiable on distributed ledger technology — giving complete security to the deal — and by using smart contracts, Propy guarantees that the flow of transactions is executed according to regional regulations. Propy offers both traditional and cryptocurrency methods of payment on the platform; e-mail communication was eliminated and thus the risk of fraud was minimized.

“We believe that blockchain technology can truly revolutionize the real estate purchasing process and the management of public records,” said Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy. “Propy streamlines a complicated process into a simple online transaction, and we’ve seen significant traction in the industry already — buyers and sellers are increasingly turning to blockchains and cryptocurrencies. We’re excited to facilitate more property transactions, and reach more milestones in our goal to automate the real estate industry via blockchains.”

Transactions executed on the Propy Transaction Platform are legally binding, provide additional proof of ownership, and safeguard the transfer of ownership via traditional legal instruments. However, the Propy Blockchain Title Registry is also available for the recording of deeds by any customer, broker, or title agent wishing to duplicate the encrypted information on the globally distributed and immutable Ethereum network. High demand is observed and acts as a driver for this service as the international community is eager for an additional safeguard for property records from hacking, corruption, or natural disasters.

In California, the first deeds were recorded by Propy on the Blockchain already in May and June; it is worth mentioning that the San Francisco Recording office also holds a deed containing blockchain information. An additional three deeds were recorded in Alameda County. These came from fiat transactions and were the first blockchain-recorded and blockchain data containing deeds in those counties. Propy plans to partner with private organizations and governments across the world to make distributed ledger technology a global standard for storing public data.

In September and October 2017, Propy partnered with the government of Ukraine to facilitate the first online international real estate purchase in the world via the blockchain. In the same month, the company also raised $15 million via a token sale.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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