Since you probably don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard everyone talking about Cryptocurrencies, blockchain and NFTs. There is so much news and information around the emerging technology that it’s hard to break through all the noise to learn more about it. A quick google search and you’ll find plenty of news articles talking about how some people are making fortunes, while others are losing all they have.
So, what even is crypto? Why should you even care and how can crypto play a part in the tiny house industry?
Well the technology goes much further than just a “Digital Currency”. The exciting solution that blockchain technology achieves is decentralized “peer-to-peer” value transfer.
Essentially, you don’t need a 3rd party such as a bank, or a centralized data source to approve, deny, or certify transactions of all sorts. This proves to be extremely useful, and opens up opportunities that were never available before.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cryptocurrencies, blockchain tech and NFTs, and how they can revolutionize and disrupt many legacy systems, we’d recommend checking out Crypto World 2021. All we can say is, don’t get left behind.
But for now, let's dive into the handful of ways it can further the tiny house industry.
Ever wonder about the history of the used tiny home you are looking at? How could you track the history without having a 3rd party company or group(think: CarFax report for cars) in the mix? This ends up taking more time and costing more money to both the seller and buyer. NFTs can solve this.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have been all the buzz in the crypto world of late. Although much of the attention and use case has been applied to digital art, the utility of NFTs stretches far beyond just art.
To understand the potential of NFTs, it’s helpful to, at the very least, have a basic understanding of what they are.
At the most basic level, an NFT is a token that is not interchangeable. Meaning it can not be replicated, tampered with, or interchanged.
Non-Fungible is simply a digital or real-world good or asset that is a one-of-a-kind and therefore has a unique value that can not be interchanged with another near identical item. Example: The Mona Lisa, diamonds, or any piece of real estate — all of which are typically non-fungible.
Fungible on the other hand means a digital or real-world good or asset is interchangeable. Unique as it may be, other near identical items share the same value as another identical item. Example: a $1 bill, Bitcoin, oil, gold, etc. — all of which are typically fungible and interchangeable(1 oz of raw 24k gold can be fairly traded with any other 1 oz of raw 24k gold)
Okay so NFTs are unique and not interchangeable but what makes them tamper proof?
NFTs are secured by the blockchain which is essentially a chain of data blocks that create a decentralized and open ledger that records transactions.
Blockchains are proven ownership and authentication enablers that can secure the uniqueness of each NFT as it records the provenance of each transaction on the open ‘ledger’.
Because NFTs are entirely unique and non-fungible they can guarantee and establish ownership while preserving rarity and uniqueness.
This, of course, is why so many artists and musicians have taken to them so quickly as it’s created a way to take ownership of both digital and real-world assets and generate value from them.
So, how can NFTs be used in the Tiny House Industry?
We’ll break down a few potential use cases below!
Lending money to buy a tiny home continues to be the leading roadblock keeping people from moving forward with their tiny home dreams. Although tiny home prices are often way lower than traditional housing, the loans available for tiny homes are much higher interest rates, and often shorter term period causing higher monthly payments.
One of the reasons banks don’t lend on tiny homes is due to tiny homes, like travel trailers, are not collateralized and in a grey zone of the banks internal codes. This poses a very frustrating problem that ultimately comes down to underwriters denying these types of loans. Sadly, this often happens when the bankers are uneducated on tiny homes.
In contrast, everything in the decentralized crypto space is all “permissionless”, which means anyone can transact with it in a peer-to-peer way. There are no humans on the other side who can decide they just don’t want to lend on tiny homes. This means, once the system is in place, essentially anyone will be able to get a loan on a tiny home, so long as they are approved for the value of the loan with the proper collateral.
Currently, lending through cryptocurrencies is based on and around collateralizing your current cryptocurrency holdings. But we can envision a time in near future when you would be able to use your tiny home (and NFT title) as the collateral. This would open up huge potential for accessibility to money and being able to finally buy that tiny home you’ve always wanted!
Blockchain technology would be extremely useful in buying and selling tiny homes. Largely because you could remove a lot of 3rd party companies from the mix of each transaction. NFTs and blockchain tech, with the right systems in place, could be used to secure a transaction between a buyer and seller, transfer ownership, ensure new ownership, perform escrow, and transfer of monies used to purchase the tiny home.
In the same way a car has its ownership tied to its title and V.I.N., a tiny home could have its ownership, V.I.N. and title tied to an NFT to secure it to a decentralized network so it can’t be tampered with.
Imagine tiny home titles that link ownership to it’s NFT which secures and proves ownership, allows for proof of history showing past ownership, age, certifications, etc. and opens up tons of additional possibilities!
The insurance aspect of block chain is still in its infancy stage, but we anticipate this to change drastically even in the next couple of years. We envision “permissionless” insurance, which essentially means they won’t need human approval to insure a tiny home, just like we talked about in regards to lending. This could be a big win for tiny home owners, and could even lower premiums.
The technology behind crypto, blockchain, and NFTs is a vast decentralized network and there is so much to learn. The possibilities and exact use cases of how it will be used in the future is still a little foggy, but it’s taking shape with incredible potential and of course so much room for growth.
It’s making massive moves and changes in the world, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes more mainstream. The sooner this happens, the sooner it’ll open up opportunities and solve common issues in the tiny house industry as well!
We’ve barely scratched the surface here of potential use cases in the tiny house industry. It’s still all so new and revolutionary. If you’re interested in finding out more about blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs, and how you can invest in this disruptive technology, we’d highly recommend attending the upcoming online event called, Crypto World 2021.
If you’re in the crypto space give us a shout! We’d love to connect and hear what you’re up to.
Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.