Blockchain real estate startup ShelterZoom is seeing rapid growth — and working toward a mass market solution for cryptocurrency payments.
The startup creates real estate technology involving blockchain, or the decentralized, distributed ledger that powers bitcoin and can also be used to track other kinds of financial transactions. Right now, the company runs an “Offer Now” widget that companies can opt to put on their real estate listing pages. Customers can make an immediate offer to rent or buy a property online via the widget and its blockchain and Ethereum smart contract technology.
The next step for the startup is a cryptocurrency payment platform. Many real estate companies allow buyers and renters to pay in bitcoin and other digital currencies, but ShelterZoom wants to power the first cryptocurrency payment solution intended for mass adoption through a platform similar to its Offer Now widget.
“We looked at home real estate transactions happening by cryptocurrencies, and it’s a once-off kind of thing. People buy one house with bitcoin or something,” ShelterZoom co-founder Chao Cheng-Shorland said in an interview with Inman. “Our approach is really for mass adoption.”
Customers will be able to pay fully or partially in cryptocurrency, Cheng-Shorland said. The startup will first allow rent and security deposit payments via its platform before working on technology for buying and selling payments.
As for its current technology, ShelterZoom says a number of real estate companies and multiple listing services have signed up for its Offer Now widget, including various Re/Max divisions, Silicon Beach Homes in California, Platinum Bay Real Estate in Dubai, VendCasa Realty in Michigan and Arena Property Agents in Australia. The widget, which prompts buyers to enter their offer price, down payment, inspection requirements and mortgage information, costs buyers and buyers’ agents $8 per offer.
ShelterZoom is reaching real estate companies just as they’re becoming more invested in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
“One of the keys to this early success has been the growing awareness of blockchain and by extension Ethereum smart contracts,” ShelterZoom co-founder Allen Alishahi said in a statement.
ShelterZoom plans to release its cryptocurrency platform by the end of the second quarter of 2018.