What do you do with a 17th century Italian mansion? Auction it off via blockchain, of course. The startup Propy will facilitate the blockchain auction of a Renaissance mansion in Rome.

How do you sell a 17th-century mansion? Auction it off through blockchain, of course.

The owner of a 17,000-square-foot Renaissance mansion in Rome known as the Palazzetto is auctioning off the property via blockchain in partnership with the blockchain startup Propy.

Propy has so far facilitated what it said was the first real estate transaction on blockchain, an apartment purchased in Ukraine in 2017, and what it said was America’s first blockchain property transfer of a condo in Vermont in 2018.

The company uses blockchain — the distributed, decentralized ledger that powers cryptocurrencies and enables financial transactions to take place near-instantly and without middlemen like banks — to facilitate international real estate transactions.

Palazzetto owner Filippo Cingolani approached Propy about facilitating the auction of his property via blockchain, he told Inman. Cingolani had followed developments in blockchain tech for a few years before deciding to incorporate the technology into his real estate transaction, he said.

“Considering the uniqueness of our property, I wanted to do something never seen before,” Cingolani said. “So I definitely liked the idea of matching a piece of architectural history with the most modern currency ever.”

Inside the Plazzetto | Credit: Propy

Inside the Palazzetto | Credit: Propy

Outside the Palazzetto | Credit: Propy

The four-floor property, built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries by the Italian architect Giacomo della Porta, who worked on St. Peter’s Basilica, has “always” been in Cingolani’s family, he said. The mansion has now been divided into three luxury apartments.

Cingolani is working with the brokerage Hilton and Hyland. The blockchain auction will run until June 28. The blockchain auction is attracting interest to the property from investors in the cryptocurrency space alongside the usual luxury property investors, Cingolani said.

For Propy, this will be the startup’s first transaction with a bidding process and its first within the European Union, founder Natalia Karayaneva said.

Bidders have to register for the auction in advance. The auction will start at 35,000 euro.

Email Emma Hinchliffe

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