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Hong Kong CBDC Pilot Helps Ripple Showcase Real Estate Tokenization

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • Partaking in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot is Ripple Labs.
  • The company will support the HKMA explore the possibilities for real estate tokenization offered by the e-HKD.
  • On Friday, the firm's CBDC advisor, Antony Welfare, said that tokenization is the future of real estate.
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The idea of tokenizing real estate assets has long been a dream for many blockchain projects. And now, thanks to Hong Kong’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot, Ripple Labs is one step closer to realizing that dream.

In a statement on Friday, Antony Welfare, who advises the firm on its CBDC strategy, said that tokenization is the future of real estate.

Ripple Partners With Hong Kong Monetary Authority for CBDC Pilot

Last month, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said it would begin laying the groundwork to launch a CBDC.

Like its peers around the world, the HKMA started piloting a CBDC in response to the rapid digitization of payments. The authority is currently exploring various use cases for the digital Hong Kong dollar.

Additionally, in May, Ripple Labs announced that it had been selected to join the pilot. The firm said it was chosen to help the HKMA develop a  tokenization solution that records e-HKD real estate transactions on a “secure and private ledger.”

Furthermore, the proposed technology will deploy Ripple’s CBDC platform. Launched on the same day the company unveiled its collaboration with the HKMA, the solution is tailored for central banks.

Ripple’s CBDC Ambitions

Ripple Labs’ CBDC platform is separate from the public XRP Ledger (XRPL). It was designed to assuage central banks’ concerns that using public blockchains for CBDCs could threaten their sovereignty.

Discussing the firm’s work, Ripple’s Managing Director Brooks Entwistle said CBDCs were the strongest case for the utility of blockchain technology. 

“There is no question that digital currencies are going to be a part of the landscape going forward,” he added.

Moreover, Entwistle revealed that Ripple was discussing its technology with more than 20 central banks.

What is Real Estate Tokenization?

As its name implies, real estate tokenization entails creating digital tokens representing physical land and properties. Typically, blockchain technology securely issues tokens and tracks ownership.

Tokenization presents many opportunities to the real estate sector. 

Lengthy payment times, complex paper trails, and the high cost of entry can inhibit the traditional real estate sector. But tokenization promises to digitize the process. As well as speeding up transactions, fractional real estate tokens multiply opportunities for investment and could unlock important new funding avenues.

Existing use cases of the technology include Parcl, a blockchain-based trading platform. The technology allows users to invest in indexes representing different real estate markets, such as major US cities.

Another recent example is the Direct Property Africa Token (DPAT). Traded on an NFT marketplace, DPAT gives global investors access to major land, property, and infrastructure projects across Africa. In conclusion, in the opposite direction, the novel platform opens up alternative funding streams for developers. 

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James Morales
James is a London-based editor, writer and explorer of the cryptosphere who started his journalistic career writing about digital art before honing his craft as a financial technology reporter. From the latest innovation in digital assets to the evolution of Web3, he is perpetually fascinated by the technologies of decentralization.