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Property crypto deals too early



The Philippine property market is not yet ready for cryptocurrency payments soon, but things could go into that direction once the industry matures and certain conditions are met.

Supercomputers and quantum computing have already achieved tremendous milestones that would enable us to do more things more efficiently

In an interview at the sidelines of the presentation of the Philippine Real Estate Outlook 2019, Jayson Estores, research and advisory head of PRIME property advisory firm, said cryptocurrency transactions in the Philippines show some promise, but added market adoption and education are needed to see more real estates changing hands using digital currencies as payments.

“Cryptocurrencies are just one aspect of the blockchain technology revolution,” Estores said.

“Although we believe the market would evolve into that direction, right now, a majority of the buyers still prefer person-to-person transaction and use (fiat) money when buying a property.

He was reacting to initiatives by fintech firms, particularly blockchain-focused startups, that are offering property investments through cryptocurrencies.

Indeed, blockchain technology is disrupting the real estate space, with one of the technology’s key value-add proposition is to unlock greater liquidity in the asset class by offering digital shares, allowing investors to buy and sell small pieces of real estate and even high-ticket projects that are normally accessible only big capitalists.

In the Philippines, home-grown startup Qwikwire launched its blockchain-enabled listing platform AQWIRE for real estate. AQWIRE offers a payment platform that lists property offerings of different developers across the world, process payments using different conventional channels and provide analytical data to potential buyers.

But according to Estores, the property sector could benefit from blockchain by utilizing its capability to store information in a digital ledger that is distributed among multiple parties with each of the party storing an exact copy of all the data.

“The benefit of blockchain is it is the next generation database technology. It offers immutable storage of information and that I think is where the real estate industry could benefit by exploiting those core value propositions,” he added.

Property technology
At the forum, Estores reported the boom in property technology, including blockchain and cloud data storage is propelled by the rise in the usage of smartphones and faster Internet services.

“In the last five years alone, supercomputers and quantum computing have already achieved tremendous milestones that would enable us to do more things more efficiently. More particularly, smart technologies such as blockchain and virtual assistant have gained track since their debuts in 2008 and 2011, respectively,” the company said.

According to PRIME, firms and startup ventures are on the race to break ground on the newest proptech to hit high in the Philippine market. The country has a solid market background to easily adopt to new advancements particularly the accessibility to computers and decent data connection, it added.