Gravel & Shea Completes Vermont’s First 100% Cryptocurrency Real Estate Transaction on the Blockchain

A 12-foot strip of land in the City of Burlington, Vermont provided the opportunity to close an innovative real estate transaction this month.

Dozens of homes in Burlington’s South End, including one along Lyman Avenue, back up to land that was historically owned by a public utility but is no longer used in that capacity.

With support from Propy and using their online platform, one of the Lyman Avenue homeowners worked with Michelle Farkas, a partner at Gravel & Shea, to purchase the strip of land directly behind their home.

Farkas reached out to the existing owner of the strip of land, an individual who now resides in North Carolina. He agreed to put the strip up for sale on the Propy platform, and both the seller and the purchaser created Coinbase accounts.

Using the blockchain platform, the parties went through the purchase and sale process, transferring the cryptocurrency, performing a title search and due diligence, and completing the transaction with the creation of the deed — all on the platform. The deal closed and was solidified with a deed that was recorded in the City of Burlington Land Records, and includes a hash and QR code recorded on the blockchain.

“We learned about the strip of land anecdotally, but we pulled out the tax map and there it was,” said Farkas. “It presented such a great opportunity for a homeowner to extend their property while also testing out Propy’s innovative platform.”

This transaction represents the first transaction in Vermont completed from offer through closing on the blockchain and demonstrates the potential ease of property transactions in the future (especially for remote buyers and sellers).

More information about the Blockchain Practice of the Burlington, Vermont-based law firm Gravel & Shea is available here.