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‘Tokenizing Real Estate Equity’: Black-Owned Company Is Using Blockchain to House Homeless Families

Real estate is the single investment type that has created more wealth than any other asset class, according to statistics from the Urban Institute. But if you are homeless, the obstacles to buying property are most likely insurmountable. 

At least five million homes are needed in the United States to solve the housing problem, according to research from

Vernon J., CEO of EquityCoin (Photo from PRNewswire)

African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, but account for a disproportionate share of the country’s homeless population. Many cannot find affordable housing.

In 2019, an estimated 568,000 Americans were homelessness and African Americans comprised about 40 percent of that total, according to the annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. When looking at the number of homeless people with children, African Americans made up about 52 percent of that population. Whites accounted for about 35 percent, ABC News reported.

“On any given night in America, there are over 500,000 people sleeping on the streets even though studies show that increasing access to permanent housing has the potential to reduce homelessness by 50%,” said Vernon J., founder and CEO of EquityCoin, in a press release. “This is the crisis of our time, and we need more public and private programs that can directly address this basic necessity.”

Founded as a public benefit corporation, EquityCoin, Inc. claims to be the first digital token on the blockchain backed by affordable housing. And, according to Vernon J., EquityCoin could be one solution to help more communities of color build generational wealth through real estate investing. 

EquityCoin aims to make buying real estate less complicated and more equitable. For example, the platform reduces the a traditional 30-day close to 12 seconds. This tokenization on the blockchain gives users access to instant liquidity.

Similar to an NFT, tokenization, in regards to real estate, is the creation of a virtual token that would represent ownership of a type of real estate asset.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Blockchain and Web3 are the great equalizers of our time,” Vernon J. told AfroTech. “With 500,000 people sleeping on the streets every night, affordable housing is the pandemic of our time, and we need solutions that combine both private and public programming in order to dramatically increase access. EquityCoin was developed to fill this void by creating a system for tokenizing real estate equity on the Ethereum blockchain where actual community members can own fractions of portfolios, and at the same time provide housing for families in danger of becoming homeless.”

He continued: “The reason any Blockchain project is successful is because of the strong community behind it. EquityCoin is starting with East New York Brooklyn as the first market because we have spent years carefully developing the digital home for the community –, a platform with over 30,000 members, connecting residents, and stakeholders. We’re taking both a digital and physical approach to city planning by building empowerment ecosystems.”

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