In fact, there are at least four ICO issuers right now with a real-estate component – BitRent, a way to speed up financing construction projects; Etherty, real-estate management through equity access; Caviar, a fund that tempers the volatility of crypto investments with loans to real estate projects; and Trust, a way to tokenize equity in real estate and other real-world assets.
Nussbaum said: "If done responsibly and legally, I do think these types of projects can advance the industry by offering previously inaccessible liquidity and investment opportunity to individuals."
And Nussbaum isn't alone in his thinking.
Yet, even with new momentum for this particular token use case and increasing interest by consumers and businesses in cryptocurrency, there are still hurdles to tokenizing real estate on a blockchain.
Liquid land The concept of selling shares of a property is nothing new – real estate investment trusts (REITs), modelled after mutual funds, own and manage properties, allowing investors to buy in for small amounts.
And not only that, but tokenizing home equity could also make the space, which has been attractive to investors but difficult to trade, more liquid.
Scott Hoch, an analyst at Apex Token Fund explained, "A new level of liquidity is created when tokenizing traditional assets. "There has to be a lot shaken out in the blockchain world," he told CoinDesk.
Tokens at the town hall Yet, there are signs that the right people are taking an interest in crypto tokens for real estate.
Not only is Cook County interested in updating the law to accommodate crypto, but a handful of locations – a city in Vermont being the most recent – around the world have launched pilots to determine whether putting land titles on a blockchain would offer efficiencies and other benefits.