Gravel & Shea Completes Vermont’s First Cryptocurrency Real Estate Transaction on the Blockchain
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Posted by: Jeff Couture
A 12-foot strip of land in the City of Burlington provided the opportunity to close an innovative real estate transaction this month. Dozens of homes in Burlington’s South End, including one along Lyman Avenue, back up to a 12-foot strip of land that was historically owned by a public utility but is no longer used in that capacity. The strip of land is now owned by an individual who resides in North Carolina.
Several of the homeowners had done boundary adjustments to purchase the strip of land behind their homes, but the cost of the process can be prohibitive to some landowners. With support from Propy and using their online platform, one of the Lyman Avenue homeowners worked with Michelle Farkas, real estate partner at Gravel & Shea, to purchase the strip of land directly behind their home.
Farkas reached out to the existing owner of the strip of land, who agreed to put the strip up for sale on the Propy platform. Both the seller and the purchaser created Coinbase accounts. The purchaser (the Lyman Avenue homeowner) then accepted the offer on the platform.
Using the blockchain platform, they went through the purchase and sale process, transferring the cryptocurrency with Gravel & Shea acting as escrow agents to hold the funds, performing a title search and due diligence, and completing the transaction with the creation of the deed. The deal closed and was solidified with a deed that was recorded in the City of Burlington Land Records, and includes a hash and QR code recorded on the blockchain.
This transaction represents the first transaction in Vermont completed from offer through closing on the blockchain and demonstrates the potential ease of property transactions in the future (especially for remote buyers and sellers).