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LynKey plans to combine the luxury resort and tourism businesses with blockchain to transform the property ecosystem in Vietnam.
The goal is to distribute tokens to real estate investors and tourists like loyalty coins and then enable them to participate in the blockchain-based “smart tourism” and luxury real estate markets. The goal is to target $8 billion worth of property and tourist destinations.
Dinis Guarda, founder and non-executive chairman of LynKey, said in an interview with VentureBeat that Lynkey will digitize luxury resorts and properties first in Vietnam and then in multiple other destinations. It will do that with a blockchain-powered token marketplace and ecosystem.
LynKey’s objective is to tokenize all aspects of property development — purchases, leases, land use, and related tourism entertainment — in an international blockchain-powered ecosystem that connects people with the best of property tech and premium experiences from resorts and cruises through NFTs.
“This project is something that actually I’ve been studying for a long time,” Guarda said. “I’ve been in blockchain for almost a decade, and I’ve been finding practical uses of blockchain.”
He added, “One of the biggest things that we have in our day-to-day operations is when we travel, or you look at a property, we have to fix some of the problems. “We are just digitizing this problem that we’re talking about, and that’s where this project came from.”
And he said, “So if you look at the real estate market worldwide, we’re talking about a very big ecosystem. It is a multi-trillion-dollar business that has a lot of challenges and is still paper-driven. There are huge issues around trust, especially if you are buying or selling property or even leasing property.”
Guarda is a blockchain, fintech, AI author, and influencer highlighted by publications like Thinkers360 and CoinTelegraph. He has teamed up with other industry personalities to turn real estate investments and tourism into more seamless, transparent, and efficient markets, without the fees associated with the core infrastructure of real estate today.
LynKey wants to optimize time sharing, prepaid leasing or licensing of property-based experiences geared towards tourism. And it offers a reward system for users through its global tokens.
By launching a global token and unique vacation experience via NFTs, LynKey said it is digitizing the property and smart tourism markets, without the need for intermediaries and empowering users to explore an ecosystem that offers real-world and, soon, metaverse experiences.
Guarda is also the creator of platforms citiesabc.com, and openbusinesscouncil.org. The idea is to allow global participants to easily and transparently access international properties and travel experiences, and be rewarded for their participation in a trustworthy ecosystem.
“Despite globalization, challenges in the tourism and travel industry persist,” said Cindy Tran, cofounder, and chair of LynKey, in a statement. “Blockchain and NFT technology can address and resolve these issues. Most global travelers or property buyers have to deal with local currencies, lack of transparency in buying or leasing property and timeshares, and losing money to high exchange fees or worse.”
She added, “Furthermore, travelers cannot personalize their travel experiences, modify, sell, or cancel their trips. Planning to travel or searching to lease a property may be digital, but the rest of the process certainly is far from seamless or perfect. A consolidated marketplace and token solution will solve many of these issues.”
Disrupting real estate
Guarda said there is a dire need for the property development industry to catch up with current technological advances. Furthermore, purchasing and leasing property abroad in the traditional model entails a range of additional costs and procedures during the operations itself and in the future when renting out the facility.
There is also a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort required to make a substantial property or timeshare acquisition or lease in another country. The additional fees and certification challenges associated with various property brokers, platforms, or other intermediaries can be a large barrier to those looking to travel or purchase property abroad.
The non-digital format of the current property leasing, licensing, and time-sharing is time-consuming and flawed. Additionally, there are often liquidity issues with respect to the global property market, which in some markets leads to price gouging and high costs.
Launching a token
LynKey wants to create an ecosystem where travelers, developers, buyers, vendors, and tourists are all connected through a blockchain, NFT-powered platform. LynKey’s token, NFTs, and first properties and resort projects will be announced in the first quarter of 2022.
LynKey is partnering with smart cities and NFT platforms Citiesabc.com, major hotel and property groups such as Everland Group, Crystal Holidays, Wyndham Group, Centara, Ztudium, Techabc and many more global partners.
It’s particularly difficult if you try to buy property in a different country, and there are lots of unnecessary fees involved, he said. If you do a time-share purchase, you can easily run into a scam. With the transparency and security of the digital ledger of blockchain, you can restore trust and cut out the middleman by using peer-to-peer transactions. LynKey wants to make such trust possible, and it will do so by creating a trust nonfungible token, or NFT.
NFTs use the blockchain to authenticate the uniqueness and ownership of digital goods, and in this case, that can be applied to real estate properties. The NFT can serve as proof of ownership. And by making the process of international buying and selling easier, LynKey could bring more liquidity to markets, which can benefit everyone.
I asked if putting real estate sales on the public blockchain would affect those concerned about privacy when it comes to buying property. But Guarda said that the data on the blockchain may show that an apartment is being sold, but the buyer and seller information does not have to be public.
“We are quite obsessed with privacy ourselves,” he said. “Blockchain lets you have both transparency and privacy.”
Sharing the wealth
One of the topics that LynKey is exploring is fractional real estate, where people could chip in and own a piece of a castle, not so different from the model of time-sharing for resorts.
In contrast to using frequent traveler points programs, blockchain-based systems are transparent about the value that you have in the loyalty programs, or tokens.
“We create a strong system with transparency and regulation,” he said.
Guarda chose Vietnam because he fell in love with the country starting about five years ago. And it’s one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and it has a lot of tourism and a lot of high-quality resorts. The company has about 40 people.
The company has a big of its team in Vietnam. And Guarda believes that young consumers in the country and elsewhere in Asia are ready for blockchain-based innovations and will readily adopt them.
There are perhaps 10 different blockchain real estate projects underway elsewhere in the world, Guarda said.
“There aren’t a lot of projects with a lot of scale,” he said. “I see them all as potential partners, not competitors. This is about creating a new layer of solutions that everyone will benefit from.”
Creating trust, cutting fees
The blockchain can also decentralize the real estate system, cutting out middlemen and their fees, and it can also gamify the ecosystem through tokens. Aware of scams in crypto, Guarda said he comes from an investment banking background and has been working with regulators.
“This is not about getting quick money,” he said. “This is a very concrete property that we have, and you can see all the property we have when you get our token. We are based in Singapore, which has the most solid regulation entities in the world, and we work with four law firms, including DLA Piper. I am quite obsessed with doing things right and making sure this project creates value for everyone.”
Blockchain entrepreneur Michael Terpin is one of the advisers, as well as others in the blockchain ecosystem.
“This is a bit like Ethereum for property and tourism,” he said. “In our case, we use the token to empower the users who will be in the platform, but then the others release their own experience within the marketplace. And that is where this is very exciting.”
As for timing the real estate market boom or bust, he said the biggest property markets always keep growing, and the world has trillions of dollars in property. When COVID finally gets under control, people will want to travel again, he said. And so the tourism-focused property will thrive again.
“But when you buy small properties in different locations, the experience is completely offline, driven by paper, which is ridiculous,” he said.
Asked if he’ll tackle virtual real estate for the metaverse, Guarda said the team explored that idea, but probably won’t get into it right away.
“The opportunity is going after the real estate business that doesn’t know how to use digital technology,” he said.