Facebook’s launch of its own cryptocurrency could have a major impact on the real estate sector, according to the co-founder of proptech platform Unissu, James Dearsley.

In a guest post on Estate Agent Today, he says Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra will make it easier to transfer funds via Facebook and its other apps WhatsApp and Instagram.

James Dearsley

The cryptocurrency is likely to be used to pay for property transactions, particularly in the rental sector. Facebook has previously tried to enter the real estate sector. Now it’s doing so now through a more indirect route, to “become the facilitator of the transaction,” said Dearsley.

Consumers could be drawn by the familiarity of completing a transaction on a platform they know well, particularly if they can search for property, find it and pay on a secure, familiar platform. Facebook will also benefit from further data collection because each Libra transaction will be recorded.

It could strengthen the social media site’s ability to further challenge real estate agents and online real estate portals. Agents are also familiar with Facebook and other sites, which could persuade them to use social media platforms as an outlet for sales.

Dearsley argues that agents should see Facebook as a serious real estate platform. They should ensure they have a strong Facebook presence to take advantage if consumers increasingly use it to search for and make property transactions, to be part of the trend.

Agents will be able to link their Facebook profile to a bank account — like with EBay or Etsy — but the accounts will only use Facebook’s Libra currency. When renters find a property, they send the agent payment through Facebook or, more likely, its linked messenger app, using an efficient and secure service.

Cryptocurrencies are known for having wild valuation fluctuations — particularly Bitcoin. Facebook — a company with lots of cash in the bank and therefore, no real need to make big profits from it — could use stablecoins. These are cryptocurrencies linked to a traditional currency like the U.S. dollar or U.K. pound to avoid this issue.

Dearsley expects Google and Twitter to follow with their own services in the future.

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