Blockchain Proptech Startup Propy Signs Deal With Ukraine Government
Propy, a blockchain property tech (proptech) startup, has signed a partnership with the Ukrainian government to pilot its decentralized marketplace and title registry. This will allow foreign investors to purchase real estate more easily and securely, and enable Ukrainian properties to be sold entirely online.
California-based Propy has built a global peer-to-peer real estate exchange platform with decentralized title registry. Built on Ethereum, Propy uses smart contracts to track and execute real estate transactions according to regional regulations. The platform allows brokers, buyers, sellers, and title agents/notaries to sign off on transactions within their existing legal frameworks.
Throughout the next year, pilot programs will be led by Propy in coordination with Ukraine's Agency for eGovernance. These will coincide with Ukraine's new legislation to be passed on January 1, 2018, which will grant foreign investors the right to purchase land in Ukraine.
According to Oleksandr Ryzhenko, the head of the State Agency for eGovernance of Ukraine, adopting blockchain technology for real estate property sales and purchase "will benefit all counterparties in real estate transactions through fostering greater transparency, efficiencies, security, and compliance."
"Our ambition is for Ukraine to be one of the world’s foremost nations in establishing a comprehensive blockchain ecosystem, and the real estate sector forms an important part of our overall blockchain strategy," he said.
The deal with Propy is the latest of the several partnerships and initiatives undertaken by the Ukrainian government to explore and adopt blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the State Agency for eGovernance of Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding with the BitFury Group to create the world's first full-scale blockchain eGovernance program for the country.
The main areas to be explored for the Bitfury blockchain eGovernance pilot project are the use of blockchain in state registers, public services, social security, public health and the energy sector.
"Blockchain has proved itself as a good ground for cost reduction, government efficiency and transparency to help reduce corruption. All these are among our goals. So we’re ready to bring blockchain as part of Ukrainian eGoverment strategy,” said Ryzhenko.
Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy, said that Ukraine’s recent commitment to build a blockchain-based internal government database with BitFury was a great first step.
"Ukraine’s government is strongly interested in building upon this progress by leveraging Propy’s technology to facilitate online real estate transactions to attract foreign property investors," she added.
"While this clearly benefits the Ukrainian real estate market, it also allows foreign investors to purchase enticing properties in a very low price range, all with the benefits and security that Propy provides."
The news comes at a time when the National Bank of Ukraine, the country's central bank, is looking to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies.
In a recent announcement, the authority said the legal implications of cryptocurrencies will be discussed at the next Financial Stability Board of Ukraine meeting at the end of the month.