New York’s Bapple Realty, a boutique brokerage in Manhattan’s SoHo neighbourhood, has announced that it has managed to use blockchain-based smart contracts to split back office earned commissions on deals. The brokerage announced that it now uses smart contracts to receive and then allocate earned broker commissions on leases and sales. The inaugural use of the smart contract was for a split commission on a luxury apartment in Manhattan’s exclusive Soho district. The commission for the Spring Street residence totalled $3,400 — and paid in Ethereum tokens.
The smart contracts allow the renter to pay the brokerage fee and commissions to the broker handling the deal. It guards against brokerage firms, office managers or group leaders withholding their agents’ commissions for non-pre-negotiated reasons.
The smart contract used by Bapple is powered by Zap.org, a platform that empowers smart contracts with real-world data and events. The Zap.org Project is tackling the challenge of the need for oracles that can provide smart contracts with access to off-chain data. ZAP is an ethereum-based ERC-20 token powering an oracle marketplace for smart contracts. The platform’s mission is to foster the creation of a standardized and self-sustained platform-agnostic smart contract data layer enhanced by an open marketplace for oracles, significantly lowering barriers to entry into the multi-billion dollar alternative data industry and the smart contract ecosystem. Bapple Realty board member, Nick Spanos, co-founded Zap.org. Kumail Akbari, Zap.org’s Director of Digital Development, spearheaded the project.
Spanos explained: “These transactions are now automated, preventing human error and disputes in the process. Agents can now use a smart contract to choose how to get their commission paid, whether in cash, bitcoin or ethereum. It’s one small step for blockchain, and a huge leap for the entire real estate industry.”
In early 2014, Bapple gained notoriety for facilitating what was may have been the first Bitcoin real estate transaction, when a tenant paid $18,000 in rent and commissions using the leading digital currency.
Spanos added: “Zap.org is focused on facilitating the development community for smart contracts. Not only do we provide oracles for smart contracts to get data, we design customized smart contracts for corporate clients like Bapple Realty,”.