On February 8, for the first time, a house in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA, will be auctioned as a non-fungible token (NFT). NFT is a unique non-replicable token of a crypto blockchain. Owing to its versatility, lately, people have been using NFTs to trade various objects such as historical art, statues, lyrics, and more.
Typically, digital art, music, memes, cartoon characters, and other similar intellectual properties and objects are auctioned using NFT technology, but an actual house has never been sold off as an NFT in the US. The seller is Leslie Alessandra, a local real estate investor and also founder of DeFi Unlimited, a blockchain service provider. She said in an interview with Tampa Bay Times that she wanted to prove to all those who said NFT is "a hype" with no real-world application that they are wrong, and so she decided to sell the house as an NFT.
The four bedroom-house, which is situated in Gulfport, Florida, will see its auction bidding start at $650,000. Interested buyers can pay for the house using cryptocurrencies. Propy, a California-based blockchain real estate company, will handle the backend technology, namely minting the property rights into an NFT and conducting the online auction. The company has experience in such transactions as, last year, it sold TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington’s apartment in Kiev as an NFT.
Alessandra was quoted as saying, “Minting property rights into an NFT would allow owners to sell a home as quickly as a Venmo (a digital wallet) transaction."
Buyers will get two NFTs; one is the property deed, and the other is a mural painted by Derek Donnelly, a local Tampa-based artist. The same report quotes him as saying: "I hope NFTs can immortalize the street art Tampa Bay is known for, which is why I created something elegant to compliment the already beautiful architecture of the house."
The ownership rights of the home in the form of an NFT will be transferred under the name of a Limited Liability Company (LLC), and the buyer will buy that company to get this house. Technically, the buyer is buying an LLC that owns the house.