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Japanese homebuilding giant developing blockchain for rental contracts

Sekisui House is working on integrating blockchain technology to ease the rental process and simplify leasing contracts

Sekisui House, one of Japan’s biggest home builders, is currently making preparations for its contracts on select rental homes to go on the blockchain.

In an announcement posted to the company’s website yesterday, Sekisui House revealed that it would use blockchain for rental housing contracts, including covering water, electricity and gas. The company estimates that these measures will be implemented before March 2021.

Users that are staying in “shamaison” rental homes will be able to register their addresses and phone numbers so that they can enter the property without having to ever get in touch with a real estate agent. The technology that is currently available makes it possible for Sekisui House clients to open and close their doors using only their smartphones.

In other countries, home builders have been clamouring for property rental contracts to be registered on the blockchain. In June 2019, regulators in Malta mandated that contracts must be registered on a blockchain so that they could be protected from tampering and owners could ensure authorised access.

One month after, the Japanese blockchain company bitFlyer Blockchain announced they had partnered with the Sumitomo Corporation to launch a real estate business that worked with smart contracts on its in-house Miyabi blockchain.

Sekisui House began working on a real estate information management system with blockchain in partnership with KDDI and Hitachi last 2017. The home building giant is a member of Nexchain, which is a consortium of companies that share information, including developments on blockchain technology.

Japan has strongly welcomed the use of blockchain technology, and in a report published by the World Economic Forum entitled the Global Information Technology Report, the country was featured in the top ten countries ready for information and communication technologies (ICT adoption).  This report took into consideration the skills, infrastructure, affordability, market readiness, and the role of the government.

Their willingness to research and develop blockchain technologies across several industries is not surprising, considering how Japan was the first country to recognize Bitcoin as a legal payment option.

Blockchain’s application beyond the cryptocurrency industry is becoming increasingly apparent, as it has been used in real estate, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, retail, healthcare, and even governmental activities.

In recent news, the central bank of Saudi Arabia utilised blockchain technology to execute deposits and money transfers.

China also tapped into distributed ledger technology to issue an asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP), which was worth $17 billion, to the country’s financial market.

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