Global equity marketplace Vesta Equity has chosen the Algorand blockchain to launch its new real estate tokenization services, hoping to disrupt a decades-old industry and open up the possibility for homeowners to convert their equity into digital assets.
Under the new partnership, Vesta will utilize Algorand to further disintermediate the numerous parties involved in the traditional home equity and borrowing space. With Vesta eliminating expensive intermediaries from the process, Algorand’s technology will allow all data to be readily available and verified automatically.
The new marketplace will enable homeowners to convert their home equity into digital assets and sell a percentage of it to accredited investors without compounding interest or requiring an outright sale.
Vesta Equity co-founder and CEO Michael Carpentier said:
“We have become a society of debt, but that journey needs to shift to create a more prosperous future for all. At Vesta, we believe the application of the right technologies hold the answer.”
Algorand chief operating officer W. Sean Ford said Algorand and Vesta Equity share a common vision with respect to blockchain technology and its role in creating more opportunities for real estate investors. He explained:
“By expanding opportunities for homeowners as well as investors, Vesta Equity is at the forefront of creating new, more accessible market opportunities by bringing participants together through Algorand’s technology.”
Real estate tokenization is considered one of the most compelling use cases for blockchain, but until now, the technology has gone underutilized in the sector. A lack of institutional appetite and issues with security token listings have hampered growth in this once-promising space. Overstock’s tZero security token platform was supposed to solve the latter problem, but the dramatic exit of CEO Patrick Byrne in 2019 left the project without much momentum.
At the surface, however, blockchain technology provides plenty of promise for asset owners and investors alike. By tokenizing real estate, fund owners can raise capital much more efficiently. Investors, meanwhile, receive low-barrier access to private real estate.
Perhaps one of the most challenging features of tokenizing real estate is the regulatory implications. By breaking down an asset into smaller, less expensive parts, fund issuers could be entering the realm of securitization with their new offering. If so, this puts them under the watchful eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Regarding securitization, Carpentier explained that “The programmability of the token creates an important distinction from more traditional securities in that business rules can be applied as logic that automates processes involved with the transaction.”
He also explained that Vesta’s homeowners’ offerings would “likely fall under the SEC’s Regulation D,” which provides exemptions that would otherwise be required for traditional securities.
“At launch, we would also be making the offering only available to accredited investors within the confines of our own marketplace. Our intended framework with the SEC would also allow for aftermarket trading within our marketplace.”
Carpentier told Cointelegraph that by tokenizing real estate equity, Vesta is “converting financial rights associated with the traditional, real-world asset into a token that can be transacted digitally and benefit from advantages such as liquidity, transaction speed, and transparency.”