Blockchain to solve real estate inefficiencies
Real estate —the transaction of value assigned to land and living space— is one of the oldest and most essential industries in the world. Almost every single human being relies on it for their most basic needs.
But whereas many fields have globalized and democratized in the Internet age, real estate has barely even digitized. Buyers, sellers, brokers, appraisers and investors around the world still use arcane listing technologies to do business, a system that has barely changed since the late 1800s and is riddled with inefficiencies and inequality.
As an illustration, listing a property on an MLS service is remarkably expensive. One property can cost up to $1,000 a month on a single platform. Access to listing data is siloed and paywalled, often inaccurate and outdated and costly intermediaries block every juncture.
Even worse, the escrow process routinely extends beyond a whole season of the year. Real estate is, therefore, one of the industries most ready for harnessing the powers of Blockchain to solve inefficiencies and build a fairer system of distributed value.
Free listing and search of properties
REX is a startup that aims at bringing Blockchain technology to real estate, and empower the entire industry. Conceived in 2016 and built on Ethereum, REX’s global, decentralized database of listings—the RexIndexer—will be free for anyone to view, while registered users are incentivized to provide accurate, complete and verifiable data.
Scaled globally on Ethereum and utilizing the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and Elasticsearch, REX is like every separate Multiple Listing Service in the world, only rolled into one democratized marketplace.
As a consequence, REX redistributes the value derived from real estate data back into the hands of the originators, unlocking global access over a decentralized playing field.
REX is founded by Stephen King, a New Jersey-based real estate broker/developer, and Russell McLernon, a Sydney-based technical strategist and Blockchain developer. King is also the founder of the Princeton Ethereum Meetup.
Today, REX is announcing its pre-alpha launch. Even at this early stage, the platform is approachable, intuitive and aims to seamlessly transition new users from the traditional MLS listing model to interact with real estate data on the Blockchain.
The pre-alpha offers browsing capability of sample listing markets in New York City, Shanghai and Sydney, allowing users to upload listings, scour properties on a map and access a REX wallet.
You can visit the REX pre-alpha here: http://alpha.rexmls.com/
While testing various designs and user experience ideas, REX tapped into the vibrant network of minds of the Ethereum community, to foster optimal development as the project grew. The team behind the project now hopes this launch will encourage even more people to get involved.
The project’s roadmap
REX will begin assembling the database in the form of a Multiple Listing Service. As the database scales and the network stabilizes, REX will gradually implement the transaction layer.
The details of the REX Token Sale will be announced next week, and the sale is scheduled for July 31, at 4 p.m. UTC. The fundraiser page can be checked here.
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