Real Estate on the Blockchain with Proper Diversification via Global REIT

Global REIT

Real estate on the blockchain has been a hot topic for at least a year now. The real estate industry sees the writing on the wall that their outdated ways to buy and sell real estate won’t last forever. The blockchain provides a perfect launching pad to streamline the industry for investors, owing to its transparency and ability to get multiple parties on the same page. In addition, blockchains are inherently global, and as much as real estate is local, the investors today especially in top cities in the world are from around the globe.

However, this whole blockchain real estate needs to be done right if it is to succeed.

REITs and Property Backed Tokens

Global REIT is taking an interesting approach here, which is from the get go creating a REIT-like instrument for the tokens that it sells. Essentially, it isn’t a platform play but really a real-estate backed crypto token here. So if you like the team and investments, it makes sense to consider the token. The tokens are based by real estate assets in specific locations and verticals, and accrue cash flow accordingly.

Cash flow of course is the name of the game when it comes to real estate. Using Ethereum based tokens, it is easy to track ownership and changes of ownership over time. This makes the accounting easier. The big win is for global investors. For example, Global REIT is buying its first property in UAE. How many, say Australian investors have exposure to real estate in the middle east? Now it is possible through their tokens.

Of course the UAE property is the first step. The company has plans to expand to other markets including the UK. Crypto payments make it easier to go through the paperwork and compliance for ownership and transfer of these rights. The company intends to pay dividends on these tokens in Tether, backed by the cash flows of the actual properties on the ground.

Real Estate Tokens

There are two tokens at play here – the GREM and GRET tokens. These will be sold in an initial crowdsale to investors, very similar to an ICO. The GREM token pays out a 2% AUM (assets under management) that decreases to 1.25% in 0.25% increments over time but never below 1.25%. The GRET token pays out a stable 8% per annum dividend on the first acquired asset, which is the UAE property for Global REIT. Each property will have its own GRET token and contract.

More numbers for you. The company plans to start with $75 million in AUM and reach $2 billion in AUM in 3 years. Yes, that’s a highly ambitious goal, but could provide some real diversification to real estate investors if they succeed.

The team isn’t limiting its investments to a geography or asset type. Its roadmap has everything from a hotel in UK to a shopping mall in UAE. But since GRET tokens are different for each property, investors can build their own collection of real estate tokens if they so wish. Otherwise, they can just invest in GRAM tokens as described above.

If you’re a real estate and/or crypto enthusiast and want to learn more, check out their website and whitepaper. Be very careful if you invest any money in the tokens, since it is a risky investment and you can lose all your money. Do your due diligence and never invest more than you can lose.

Photo Credit: michaela loheit

Yumerium Building a Crypto Layer for Online Gaming

Yumerium crypto

Yumerium is building a crypto layer for online gaming. This would help new games and game developers easily add a layer of crypto in their existing games, and also simultaneously be a part of an ecosystem.

The idea is that Yumerium builds a crypto token, called YUM, which can then be integrated by existing online games into their products. This is easier when the game is being developed, but developers can also do this integration after the fact, i.e. after the game has already been developed.

Advantages of Yumerium

So why should online games add Yumerium? There are many reasons for this. Firstly, games can use the YUM token to create incentive structures for influencers. This will help them reach a wider audience than without their help. They can also pay people in YUM to play their games and share it with their friends, thus helping the peer to peer aspect of gaming and marketing. They can also pay people to write about their experience, thus reaching out to the broader gaming community.

But why use YUM for this? The answer lies in the network. If Yumerium can create a thriving ecosystem of players, developers, and influencers, then YUM becomes valuable. This is because you have access to this network. It is no longer just a payment means now.

Game development is a competitive endeavor, and therefore developers look for an edge to promote their game. A crypto layer is another advantage for the game. Gamers can pay in crypto, i.e. YUM token for in-game items. This is a huge revenue source for games already.

New Market Potential

The idea behind Yumerium is that of a network. The network, powered by YUM, could do better than an individual game can. If this proves to be true, what Yumerium is building can become very valuable for game developers.

In addition, don’t forget the new frontiers. We already know that crypto is heavily dominated by the young people i.e. Millennials and Gen-Zers. This is also the prime demographic for crypto. Therefore, gaming and crypto can easily benefit each other. New games can appeal to the crypto community specifically. This is beneficial because the crypto community tends to have money to spend for in-game assets as well. If you don’t believe me, check out the prices of digital cats on Crypto Kitties!

Yumerium plans to build a network of games that can collectively benefit each other just as networks tend to do. Gamers can explore new games, write about them, and share with their friends and get rewarded for it. New games have a community to build into.

To learn more, check out the Yumerium website. They are doing an ICO, so if you  want to invest, be sure to read the whitepaper and understand that investing in token sales can be very risky.

Photo Credit: xmodulo

Wemark: Photo Licensing Platform with Crypto Payments

Wemark crypto

We are generally interested in niche applications for crypto. This is the best way to capture the market, after all. Get the first initial users who are passionate about the product and also see great value. Then expand beyond the initial use case. This is the tried and true model for startups, and should be adopted more by blockchain/crypto startups too.

Today, let’s look at one such company – Wemark. It is a project in a very specific niche – photo licensing. And that industry could definitely use some new technological disruption. After all, photographers hardly made a third of the revenue these companies generate! It is a huge oligopoly because it is a two-sided marketplace. The big ones – Shutterstock and Getty Images, have cornered the market for paying clients, so photographers are left with no choice but to play ball and go with whatever they offer.

There are all sorts of competitors in the space, as is expected, given these profit margins. However, none has succeed in replacing these behemoths. Could a crypto startup do it?

Wemark provides 85% of the revenue to the photographers. That’s around 3 times what they can share with the larger companies. The sell for photographers is a no-brainer. The biggest question is, will Wemark be able to attract the commercial deals that these large companies specialize in? We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out, since it is only now beginning to operate and offer photos to such clients.

Wemark offers payments to photographers in its own native token, which may be an issue for more mainstream photographers down the line since it would be harder to convert into fiat, but as a first step in acquisition, it should be manageable or the company itself can run some sort of informal exchange for the photographers.

We originally talked about dominating one industry and then going on from there. If Wemark is successful in the photography business and can actually provide value to both sides of the marketplace and more importantly actually see parties on both sides of the marketplace, then there is no reason why it cannot go beyond. The company already plans to enter the digital asset space using a similar model. This can be anything – doesn’t need to be photos, after all.

How the company performs in the photography market remains to be seen. The company also needs to provide value and utility to its native token, since that is what is being used for payments, and shouldn’t have too high of a velocity, which would cause the market cap to remain small.

Overall, the photo licensing industry is one that is definitely in need for some disruption. Wemark approaches this using a crypto token for payments and providing a higher percentage of payment to photographers. Whether these are enough to attract buyers remains to be seen.

To learn more, check out the Wemark website and whitepaper.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Kennedy

Essentia: The Single Entry to the Decentralized Web


Essentia is one of those projects that benefits the entire crypto ecosystem if it were to succeed in its mission. In fact, not just crypto specifically, but the entire ‘decentralized web’. Today more than ever, the importance of a decentralized web cannot be overstated. We should do everything in our power to make the move away from centralized behemoths – the Facebooks of the world, towards a decentralized web where users are in control – the Blockstacks of the world.

Problem of ‘Too Much’

So where does Essentia fit into this picture? On the user and adoption side. To start off, just think of just the crypto-asset space, i.e. your favorite tokens. If you were to hold the keys, which is how you should do crypto, how many wallets do you need to download? What if a new crypto interests you? Is each of them secure enough to download on your own computer? What a user experience nightmare! No wonder people just don’t bother and leave their coins on an exchange, which has been a terrible idea throughout the short history of this industry.

To be sure, this is a big problem. People who are new to crypto for example cannot be expected to download a hundred wallets and store them safely on their computers with appropriate backups. It is just not feasible for mass adoption.

The Essentia Solution

Now, what something like Essentia does is still let the user be in charge of all the crypto, data, apps, etc. but through a single master seed. Everything else flows deterministically from this seed. The user has the seed and keeps that one single seed secure and backed up. This would automatically keep everything else the user does secure and backed up as well. No need to trust a third-party to manage keys or data anymore.

Already, Essentia has integrated several of the most prominent crypto-assets and crypto-applications into its platform, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, IPFS, Status, Gnosis, etc. This means that a user who wants to transact in Bitcoin, pay for a DApp in Ether, store some data in IPFS and participate in some prediction markets can do all of that via a single entry point through Essentia.

This is a powerful way to interact with this new and emerging decentralized web, because the user doesn’t need to follow every single isolated app in isolation. Instead, for the user, they can just log into their Essentia, with their ID, and everything else just flows naturally from there. It brings down the user experience gap between centralized and decentralized applications.

If you’re interested to learn more, check out the Essentia website and their whitepaper.

Photo Credit: Georgie Pauwels