The real estate cryptocurrency startup Deedcoin has gone live with its public token sale, the company told supporters via email Monday. The public launch follows a private sale in January and several delays (Deedcoin said it was originally scheduled to launch around Thanksgiving 2017).
Deedcoin plans to disrupt real estate commissions by letting buyers and sellers pay agents partly with its own cryptocurrency tokens, which are based on the ethereum blockchain. Ethereum, a rival to bitcoin, is a popular cryptocurrency and ledger system for keeping track of transactions, which many startups, including Deedcoin, have adapted to create their own custom tokens.
Customers can buy tokens from Deedcoin at a cost of $1.50 per unit, and then give those tokens to participating real estate agents, who agree to accept them instead of paying a larger traditional real estate commission in U.S. dollars. The USD commission doesn’t disappear entirely; instead agents agree to accept a traditional commission of as little as 1 percent along with Deedcoin’s tokens.
The company says it has participating agents in all 50 states. The project is closely tied to the Florida brokerage Momentum Realty.
Deedcoin got a tracking number from the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month and had planned its sale for Feb. 18.
The pre-sale that launched this week was limited to 100,000 of the Ethereum-based tokens.
Deedcoin is at the intersection of two popular startup ideas: lowering broker commissions and integrating cryptocurrencies into real estate. Property Coin is another cryptocurrency with a focus on real estate, although that startup’s token is backed by real estate assets instead of being part of the real estate transaction process.
New cryptocurrency tokens are facing increased scrutiny from regulators, who have shut down several projects over fraud. Members of Congress have also recently taken in interest in further examining regulations surrounding the creation and sale of these tokens, which could make Deedcoin’s aspirations more difficult to achieve.