While tensions build between third-party portals and agents over listing data, Imbrex, a startup based in New York, is launching a blockchain-based multiple-listing service.
Founder Stephen King, a former commercial broker, said his company — Imbrex — is a global MLS that is the first to syndicate data via the Ethereum blockchain. The decentralized, open-source system is billed as an alternative to traditional MLS networks and third-party sites like Zillow and Realtor.com, which can charge for membership or advertising.
Using blockchain technology, King said, allows brokers to cut out the intermediaries.
“Instead of giving their information to a centralized portal or MLS, the agent or firm can essentially share information and not have to store it physically where [they] are,” he said. They “can take advantage of the cloud-like environment that exists.”
Blockchain technology allows for peer-to-peer transfers between computer networks and tracks all transactions through an encrypted electronic ledger. Though it’s been used to facilitate deals with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, real estate is slowing coming around to using it in property transactions.
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