Previous post Next post

Slice of prime Zurich real estate sold on blockchain

Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich is one of the most upmarket shopping streets in the world. (© Keystone / Gaetan Bally)

A building on Zurich’s most exclusive shopping street has been converted into a blockchain-powered investment following its CHF130 million ($134 million) sale. It is the latest attempt to unlock the value of bricks and mortar using digitally-coded tokens.

Bahnhofstrasse 52, which houses offices and a Swatch retail outlet, was bought by Zug-based real estate investment firm BrickMarkexternal link on Wednesday. The company has issued digital tokens, underpinned by a bond, which can be bought and eventually traded by investors who want a slice of the building’s rental income and increase in sale value.

BrickMark funded about 20% of the purchase by giving the seller, RFR Holding, a batch of its newly created tokens. This means that RFR Holding retains a stake in the future income of the building.

“There has never been a token-financed transaction of this magnitude,” said BrickMark CEO Stefan Rind in a statementexternal link. “We are implementing what was once no more than a concept in the real estate industry.”

The Bahnhofstrasse buildling is the first of a planned global real estate portfolio that could be worth upwards of CHF1 billion, the company said. BrickMark is accumulating a €50 million cash stockpile from investors but also intends to part-finance further acquisitions with its tokens.

Smart contracts

The tokens are created by drawing up digital “smart” contracts that entitle holders to a share of the portfolio’s financial spoils (they could also result in losses if the properties lose value).

The tokens are created and traded on a blockchain – a digital platform that proponents believe is a much more efficient system than the current paperwork-based method of buying and selling properties. The smart contracts embedded in the tokens can also be custom-made to automatically carry out a range of functions, such as paying dividends and fees.

BrickMark is the latest in a growing list of blockchain companies setting their sights on the real estate market. Last year, a consortium led by blockimmo converted a Swiss building into digital shares and sold a 20% stake to investors over the blockchain.

More recently, Geneva-based company WeCanexternal link tokenized two properties in Portugal in a €11 million deal, which it plans to repeat across other European countries.

Full story here Are you the author?
Matthew Allen
When not covering banks, tax disputes, trade, Brexit, the World Economic Forum and FIFA,'s business correspondent can be found playing cricket on various grounds in Switzerland - including the frozen lake of St Moritz. Initials: mga
Previous post See more for 6a) Gold & Monetary Metals Next post
Tags: ,

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.