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Florida home to be sold in novel non-fungible token deal

February 5, 2022 GMT

GULFPORT, Fla. (AP) — A home along Florida’s Gulf Coast will be auctioned off in the upcoming week as a non-fungible token in what is believed to be among the first such transactions in the U.S.

Non-fungible tokens — or NFTs — use a version of the encryption technology employed to secure cryptocurrencies to create one-of-a-kind digital objects. The technology provides digital creations a kind of certificate of authenticity, allowing ownership of something that could otherwise be replicated endlessly.

In the case of the four-bedroom home in Gulfport, Florida, a California-based real estate technology company, Propy, will mint the property rights into a digital token and host an online auction, with bids starting at $650,000.

Minting property rights into an NFT would allow owners to sell a home as quickly as a Venmo transaction, Leslie Alessandra, the home’s current owner, told the Tampa Bay Times.

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Christopher Vasilakis, a local real estate and virtual-reality expert, described such a transaction as “essentially just selling a company and a company owns that house.”

There could also be challenges given the volatility of cryptocurrency, and it’s not yet clear if the value of a house tied to an NFT would be affected by the crypto market, Vasilakis said.