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Blockchain Platform to Revitalize Japan’s Rural Real Estate

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Digital asset issuer Securitize, a tokenisation firm backed by Sony Financial Ventures, Nomura and MUFG, has launched a platform aimed at encouraging funding in under-invested real estate in rural Japan.

Securitize announced that it has created a Japanese real estate investment platform using digital securities in collaboration with LIFULL and LIFULL Social Funding. The new project aims to promote real estate crowdfunding using blockchain. LIFULL is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of $470 million, and has about 14 different affiliated businesses and subsidiaries serving the Japanese real estate market.

Securitize said the crowdfunding platform, which leverages Ethereum-based digital securities, is faster, transparent and more regulatory compliant than comparable systems. Being built on a public blockchain means investors can also review and monitor the flow of funds.

Japan has some of the most densely populated cities in the world, but it has experienced significant population decline over the decades. Experts estimated that nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will be deserted by 2040.

LIFULL Social Funding is targeted at regional revitalisation by encouraging investment in rural homes, which is the main aim of the Securitize project. The firm initiated the development of the real estate crowdfunding platform in collaboration with blockchain consultancy BUIDL, which was later acquired by Securitize late 2019 to accelerate security token development in the country. 

The companies were expected to reduce operational costs for funding real estate projects using the blockchain platform. Smart contracts enabled automation of security token distribution, dividend payments and redemption of securities. Investors and third-parties were also able to view the flow of funds and tokens on a public blockchain.

“Our collaborative success in creating a comprehensive platform solution for crowdfunded real estate funds is very exciting, and it is a great start for Securitize and LIFULL as we work to modernize the Japanese real estate market together,” said Carlos Domingo, CEO and Co-founder of Securitize. 

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