The Japanese trading company and business giant Sumitomo is set to team up with bitFlyer, a major Japanese crypto exchange, to jointly build a blockchain-powered real estate rental and property management platform that its masterminds said will help digitize the entire house rental process for both tenants and landowners.
Per Nikkei, 25 Japanese companies including home insurance provider Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Tokyo Gas, the primary provider of natural gas to cities including Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Saitama, have already signed up to make use of the platform, which is slated to debut in Spring 2021.
The platform will allow house-hunters to sign tenancy contracts and pay their electricity, gas, and other utilities bills – as well as take out and manage fire and theft insurance policies – all using smart contract technology.
The crypto exchange said that the new platform will simplify the rentals and lettings procedure for all parties – and will speed up processes that can otherwise become bogged down with paper documentation.
The firms added that smart contracts would allow “multiple companies to check and update data” by managing information that is registered by users using a blockchain network.
bitFlyer added that it was “working to further expand the number of companies” participating in the project.
The platform might debut at around the same time as a rival project spearheaded by the rentals arm of Sekisui House, Japan’s biggest homebuilder, and the Hitachi-backed Nexchain blockchain consortium.