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A 17th Century Mansion Is Being Auctioned Off on a Blockchain

A 17th century Italian mansion is being auctioned on a blockchain, in what could be a major real-world application of the nascent technology.

Beverly Hills real estate brokerage Hilton & Hyland is partnering with blockchain startup Propy to auction the Palazzetto inside of the Palazzo Albertoni Spinola, a mansion built between 1580 and 1616.

The Unesco heritage site was designed by architect Giacomo Della Porta prior to his death in the early 1600s, and is currently valued at $42 million, and interested parties can bid on it in either fiat or cryptocurrencies until June 28, said Propy CEO Natalia Karayaneva.

Karayaneva told CoinDesk that the auction was a unique opportunity to record the sale of a historic building on a blockchain, given that most blockchain projects are still in the test phase, including real estate ventures.

She added:

“It’s a real life application of the technology, in real business. It is not a transfer test of a couple dollars worth of value, or questionable digital collectibles — but a multi-million dollar deal where lack of transparency can result in a significantly worse deal for the investor or seller.”

Going forward, she hopes to see more real estate deals registered on blockchains, noting that the security and the immutable record behind the technology can reassure buyers that they are not risking their funds. She also believes that blockchain technology can make the process of purchasing buildings more efficient by automating property transactions, which would decrease fees and giving homeowners a way to prove their property rights.

“The process of buying real estate today is non-transparent and non-secure even in the U.S. The bidding mechanism of providing offers blindly is very manipulative. This is why it is important to not only automate payment and title deed recordings … but also to automate the auction and offering mechanisms,” Karayaneva said.

Palazzetto image courtesy Propy

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