If you’re feeling down about not buying Bitcoin in saner times, we’re here to let you know that it’s not too late to get in on the alternative currency boom. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies out there that can be traded for one another or for actual U.S. currency.
The Real Deal gathered a list of real estate-specific cryptocurrencies that amateurs and pros alike can invest in right now. (Note: This isn’t an endorsement.)
Here’s how it works: Anyone can launch a digital currency, sell it in a token sale — also called an “initial coin offering,” or ICO — get it listed on a cryptocurrency exchange, and voila, it’s real money. But they have to offer something in return. Most ICOs are launched by startups as a way to raise money, and the tokens serve one of several purposes: they act as shares or ownership rights in the company; they are used to access the company’s services (like tokens in an arcade); or in the case of real estate, they are used to fund real estate investments.
To actually buy tokens, you will need an Ethereum wallet, bright-eyed optimism, and an appetite for risk. In some cases, there will be restrictions on who is allowed to invest: you may need to be an accredited investor and/or pass a KYC (Know Your Customer) test.
All data is from ICObench and CoinMarketCap as of Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017.
Buy a house with PRO
PRO – $1.01
The PRO token issued by Propy gets you access to the Propy platform, which is essentially a listings site and decentralized title registry that runs on blockchain. The Silicon Valley-based firm, led by developer Natalia Karayaneva, raised $15 million during its ICO and started trading in September. The real estate tech company made headlines that month when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington remotely bought an apartment in Kiev for $60,000 from Ukrainian developer Mark Ginsberg through Propy’s platform. Propy claims it’s the first real estate transfer ever done entirely via blockchain.
As part of the transaction, the title is automatically transferred by Propy.
The listing site is live, with listings in eight cities including New York, San Francisco, Miami and London.
There are currently 16.7 million PRO tokens in circulation with a market cap of $16.8 million, trading at $1.01 per coin, up 23 percent from the day trading started. Propy put its cap at 100 million tokens, so props to them for thinking big.
Invest in real estate with REAL
REAL – $0.396505
The REAL token, issued by the Barcelona-based Real, gets you access to their crowdfunding platform, which you can then use to invest in commercial real estate projects across the globe. Well, that’s the plan anyway. The platform, which is not yet live, will operate like a typical crowdfunding site, except it will run on blockchain technology and accept Real tokens rather than fiat money. Real raised $11 million during their ICO and started trading in October at $0.89 per coin.
Since then, REAL coins lost more than half their value. There are currently 10 million REAL tokens in circulation with a market cap of $4 million, trading at $0.4 per coin.
Get a desk with PBT
PBT – $7,637.39
The PBT token issued by the co-working firm Primalbase has one very specific use: one PBT gets you access to one Primalbase workstation. The firm has one open location in Amsterdam, where they are based, with plans to open a Berlin location in December, followed by locations in London and New York. Primalbase put a cap of 1,000 on their token, meaning there will never be more than 1,000 PBT coins and hence, no more than 1,000 Primalbase members at any given time. If successful, the tokens will be like taxi medallions in New York City, where prior to Uber, they were highly valued because of their scarcity.
There are currently 1,000 PBT tokens in circulation with a market cap of $7.6 million, trading at $7,637.39, up 42 percent from the day trading started.
Bid on an apartment with BERRY
BERRY – .0004 ETH
The BERRY token issued by Rentberry gets you access to their rental platform, where you can bid on apartments for rent. Also a Silicon Valley-based firm, Rentberry was founded in 2015 by Alex Lubinsky and raised $4 million in venture capital. Its token sale is happening now through January, so you can still get in early. The BERRY token is pegged to Ether, the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, and a single token costs .0004 of Ether. Due to Ether’s volatility, that translated to somewhere between 20 and 30 cents over the last week, depending on the hour.
Rentberry’s platform — think HotPads meets eBay — is live and received gobs of press over its model, which critics say favors renters who can bid higher (and thus, could exacerbate already rising rents in cities like New York and San Francisco). Rentberry, which takes a $25 fee from the tenant if he or she is selected, says it brings transparency to the marketplace, removing application fees and allowing tenants to negotiate directly with landlords.
Invest in multifamily with RC
RC – ICO scheduled for Spring 2018
The RC token, to be issued by Realecoin, will contribute to a fund that will invest in multifamily housing. Realecoin is a startup from New York real estate developer and one-time Russell Simmons collaborator Ruben Azrak. The presale for RC tokens has passed and the ICO is scheduled for 2018. The token sale will have a minimum raise of $50 million and a hard cap of $200 million. If the minimum isn’t raised, investors will get their money back. In all likelihood, this type of token would be considered an investment instrument, which is regulated by the SEC and is, therefore, open only to accredited investors.
List and sell with ATL
ATL – $0.202775
ATL tokens issued by the United Kingdom-based Atlant are membership certificates, and give holders voting rights, access and other privileges on the Atlant platform. The platform basically wants to be a stock exchange for real estate assets. Property owners can list their assets on the platform and tokenize them, or in other words, sells off slices of the asset (or owning entity) in the same way shares are sold in a company. Then, as more properties are listed, users can trade shares in various real estate assets on the Atlant exchange. On the Atlant platform, ATL token holders vote on whether or not to approve a listing.
The ATL is trading at $0.20, down by half from its initial value of $0.41. There are 13.2 million ATL tokens in circulation with a market cap of $2.7 million.