Zweispace Japan, a company that develops applications for the real estate industry, has begun live testing of its patented blockchain-based property registry. On April 2nd the platform officially went to work, recording data from real estate transactions on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain.
Zweispace is integrating the blockchain-based system into its “Ohudokun” product, which aims to streamline real estate sales — and reduce registration fees.
Real estate buyers and sellers in Japan currently pay a realtor to officially register transactions, at a cost of ¥60,000 ($565 USD) plus 3 percent of the property value, each. There’s also a $500-$1000 registration fee and a one-week wait — which is actually fast compared to other countries, where it can take a month or longer.
The blockchain registry could handle this at a fraction of the cost and settle transactions almost immediately — without further delays for weekends and holidays. It has the added advantage of being accessible from anywhere in the world.
Speaking to Bitsonline, Zweispace founder and CEO Hayato Kameta said the blockchain-based buyer and seller management system acts as a supplement to the official government land registry, which is the final official record of who owns what.
Zweispace has received a patent for its system, which it plans to offer both within and outside of Japan.
Someday, by demonstrating the speed at which a blockchain-based registry could confirm and secure ownership data, Kameta said governments might consider using blockchain for official records. But that isn’t necessary for Zweispace’s platform to do its job.
Which Chain to Choose?
Perhaps refreshingly, Zweispace isn’t planning an ICO and wants to use an existing blockchain network for its registry platform.
Ohudokun’s platform registers data such as that necessary to identify the owner of the property; seller data (optional); a timestamp, realtor IDs, and any other required information.
Kameta said they chose BCH for the trial due to its speed, low transaction fees (about 7 cents for the trial) and the fact it’s a well-supported blockchain with a long history, making it less vulnerable to attack. However he’s open to using other popular networks as well, possibly Ethereum or even Stellar, which he likes for its cost, data space availability and clear specs.
They’ll also look at Microsoft’s blockchain platform when it launches, and are curious to see how Bitcoin Cash develops and/or expands its functionality. BCH still has a larger following in Japan than most other places, thanks to greater name recognition and a large number of traders active in the local market.
Getting others to accept the system presented another challenge, said Kameta, who is also a regular attendee at Tokyo’s Bitcoin and other blockchain-themed meetups.
“Seeing Japanese public traded companies misunderstand blockchain and other technology, I feel I should start showing (them) now.”
Zweispace Wants to Use Blockchain Across Its Real Estate Ecosystem
Zweispace, which also has a branch in Singapore, wants to use blockchain technology in its entire ecosystem of real estate-related tech products. Those include Autocalc, an A.I. architect and property appraisal app, and Namazu, which it developed in conjunction with construction company Kajima to assess the potential impact of various types of earthquake on buildings.
It’s developing the real estate registry in partnership with ISPACE Japan and PRESI Corporation, which deal with the actual property and legal issues.
For the record, “Ohudokun” is named after Fudo-myo-o, the god of real estate in Japan whose name literally means “immovable” — or even “immutable”.
Are blockchain-based property registries more efficient than existing systems? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
Images via Zweispace, Pixabay
Subscribe to the Bitsonline YouTube channel for more great interviews featuring industry insiders & experts