Launch Announcements

TL;DR: www.rexmls.com

The REX team would like to take this opportunity to announce what we have done, where we are now and where we are going:

October 2016 -> April 2017

Since Devcon 2, REX assembled a talented front end team to help build a modern, intuitive user interface. Design is 99% complete. It will take approximately 5-7 weeks to finalize frontend/backend integration. We recently translated RexCore (the heart of REX) from C# to Golang which greatly improved speed and reliability. The conversion grants access to Go’s vast library of open source software and provides closer integration with the go-ethereum codebase. We are on schedule to assimilate the above by mid April, at which point an 8 week testing phase will begin.

Ariel Property Advisors will be the first brokerage firm in the world to list on REX. Ariel Property Advisors will play an integral role in the testing phase. In addition, REX is holding discussions with several of the top brokerage firms in the US and China. REX’s goal is to form strategic alliances with these and several others around the world.

May 2017 –> July 2017

In May, REX is attending RECon in Las Vegas then AREC in Brisbane, Australia. The team will introduce REX, provide demo’s and announce launch dates.

REX Alpha will launch in early July. The REX Tokensale will begin shortly after (mid-July). The REX Tokensale will serve two vital purposes:

1. Distribute REX tokens to users. Following the tokensale, users can use REX tokens to access certain features on platform.
2. Provide the financial resources to fund development, marketing and team expansion.

July 2017 -> January 2019

Phase 1 (REX 1.0) will launch in December 2017. Phase 1 entails the full release of the global multiple listing service catering to both the commercial and residential industries. We will be working on Phase 2 (REX 2.0, Advanced Filtration) simultaneously to Phase 1, which will be an ongoing process throughout the project. Starting in early 2018, REX will begin development on Phase 3 (REX 3.0, Financial Processes). Finally, towards the end of 2018, REX will begin testing Phase 4 (REX 4.0, Tokenized Ownership).

As mentioned above, the REX Tokensale will begin in July. Details on the tokensale will be announced in late April/early May.

Please find a demonstration of Phase 1 (Global Multiple Listing Service) here

Information on REX, the team, white paper and contacts can be found here (including Slack/Gitter)

We will continue to provide periodic updates via the REX blog that will include:
-Partnership announcements
-Development updates
-REX Tokensale updates

Lastly, in support of the community and EF, REX will donate the first 6 months of tx fee’s to the Ethereum Foundation (assuming they’re amenable).

We are grateful for the support and look forward to continued contributions toward the ecosystem.

REX

Real Estate: Creating Liquidity Using the Blockchain

The blockchain offers many advantages to real estate: To start, let’s consider buying an office building, a complex transaction involving banks, lawyers, insurers, title companies, regulators, tax agencies and inspectors. They all maintain separate records, and it’s expensive to verify and record each step. The average closing takes 50–60 days. Blockchain technologies offers a solution: a trusted, immutable digital ledger, visible to all participants, that shows every element of the transaction.

As Rex tackles data and the multiple listing service through blockchain technology, we often discuss the possibilities in ownership structure.

What if you could trade 1,000 tokens in the Chrysler building like you trade a 1,000 shares of Apple?

Background
The Chrysler building was completed May 27, 1930. Owned by Walter P. Chrysler, it was built to serve as Chryslers new headquarters. The Chrysler building is 77 floors high and approximately 2,062,772 square feet in office space. The building has changed hands several times since the Chrysler family sold it in 1953. In 1998, Tishman Speyer Properties along with Travelers Insurance purchased the Chrysler building for $220,000,000. In 2001, Tishman sold a 75% stake to Abu Dhabi Investment Council. Today, Abu Dhabi Investment Council owns 90% and Tishman retains 10%.

Redefining Real Estate Ownership: Chrysler Dapp
Let’s say Rex purchases Abu Dhabi’s and Tishman’s entire stake in the Chrysler building for $3,000,000,000 cash at a 4% capitalization rate:

The Chrysler building is 90% occupied with long term leases averaging $108/SF. The gross income is $200,500,000 per year. Expenses run about 40% or $80,200,500. Thus, the Net Operating Income is $120,000,000.

Blockchain
Using Ethereum, Rex creates a decentralized application called Chrysler Dapp. The Chrysler Dapp creates 1,000,000,000 CHRY tokens. Chrysler Dapp allocates 750,000,000 CHRY tokens (75% of the total supply) to be sold in an upcoming crowdsale. CHRY tokens will be listed at $3.00 per token (valuing the building at $3,000,000,000).

Slice 1

The developers of Chrysler Dapp create an incorporated company called Chrysler Management Inc. Chrysler Management Inc. will be the managing entity of the Chrysler building, responsible for management, leasing and legal. Chrysler Management Inc. will retain 100,000,000 CHRY or 10% of the total supply. The remaining 150,000,000 CHRY will be held for capital reserves.

Each quarter, Chrysler Management Inc. will convert all positive cash flow (after expenses) to CHRY tokens and deposit them in a community smart contract. The contract will distribute CHRY tokens to stakeholders according the percentage of tokens each stakeholder owns.

In the bi-laws between CHRY token holders and Chrysler Management Inc., it will state that each quarter (much like public companies are required by the SEC), Chrysler Management Inc. is obligated to release a detailed income and expense report for that quarter.

Economics

Token participants have the opportunity to own a piece of an iconic building in New York City with a potential 10% upside: If Chrysler Management Inc. leases the 10% vacancy, it will increase net operating income which in turn should increase the value of the building:

vacancy + tenant = +NOI = +building value = +CHRY token value

Market equilibrium shows us an increase in value usually creates an increase in price. Conversely, if Chrysler loses a major tenant the token’s value should decrease.

Physical Asset

As we’ve seen with recent token sales, prices fluctuate and markets can be highly irrational. However, a physical asset like the Chrysler building can be pegged to the local real estate market offering a more precise determination of value and perceived risk.

for example:
ABC Inc. occupies 500,000/SF at $108/SF. Their lease expires and they vacate the Chrysler building. In one deal, the asset loses $54,000,000 in gross annual income. The CHRY token price drops to $1.00 valuing the building at $1,000,000,000. A few sophisticated individuals discover the actual market value (after the loss of ABC Inc.) should be closer to $1,700,000,000:

$146,500,000 — $80,200,000 = $66,300,000 NOI at a 4% CAP = $1.657 billion or $1.67 per CHRY token.

The investors can profit from a potential $0.67 upside in token value, long term building appreciation and any increase in value once the remaining 10% vacancy is filled.

The same is true if the token value jumps to $4.00 or $4,000,000,000 with no real increase in NOI. Sophisticated investors may short CHRY tokens thus stabilizing value with market equilibrium.

The above may be a dramatic example but it illustrates my point. People can buy in and cash out as quickly as they trade stocks.

Problems

First, we think about regulation. The benefits of owning tokens in individual real estate assets over shares in a REIT are your only investing in that property not the entire portfolio. The second would depend on regulation and cost associated with registering the token. Another issue is establishing trust with Chrysler Management Inc. CHRY token holders are relying on a third party to pay operating expenses, manage leases and properly maintain the building. However, Chrysler Management Inc. is incentivized by ongoing fee’s and an ownership stake which, in theory, should provide sufficient motivation for Chrysler Management Inc. to adequately adhere to their responsibilities.

There are plenty more obstacles in tokenizing real estate and putting it on the blockchain not listed above. However, starting the quest to solve illiquidity in the real estate industry is too fun a topic not to ruminate on.

The Evolution of Rex

Prototypes, Seed Rounds and Beta

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If there’s one thing that most real estate players can agree on, it’s that the industry tends to move at a snail’s pace when adopting new technologies. At Rex, we believe the real estate industry is ready for something big, and we’re setting out to change the way real estate information is disseminated. We’re pioneering the space —using advanced blockchain and data distribution protocols to democratize real estate information via the first global, decentralized multiple listing service.

Whether you’re familiar with terms like Ethereum and IPFS protocols or not, trust us —this is big. Imagine a global MLS where you are paid for data, search for free and theres a market place for information.

We’re making strides, and we’re excited to share them with you. Here’s what you need to know:

#1. Our Prototype Testing Was Successful

Rex is one, if not the first, real estate application in the world to implement blockchain (Ethereum) and data distribution (IPFS) protocols and test them successfully. We’ve received excellent feedback within both the blockchain community and the real estate community. While it can be difficult for real estate players to understand the true real-life application, most agree that a global MLS and decentralized transaction process is a unrealized need. The common response is that “the transaction process is broke; it’s expensive and inefficient.”

Whereas it can cost brokers and agents upwards of $35/listing up to $1,000/listing, Rex is flipping the model and paying you for information.

#2. Our Seed Round Recently Closed

Our Rex team recently had the opportunity to attend DevCon 2 at the International Blockchain Week in Shanghai. We met with members of the Ethereum community to discuss key topics as they relate to the future of the ecosystem. While there, we were fortunate enough to speak with several seed investors who contributions will accelerate development and provide key partnerships for global expansion.

We are excited to announce we closed our seed round mid-October, and the capital will facilitate development, grow marketing, and provide essential resources for team expansion.

#3. Our Beta Version is Just Months Away

Lastly, our beta is less than nine months away! We’re working hard behind the scenes to get our beta up and running, and look forward to valuable feedback from the blockchain and real estate communities.

Keep Watching

Want to learn more about Rex? For some of the more technical details, be sure to check out our white paper and feature on BTC Manager entitled Rex: Decentralizing and Disrupting Real Estate Listing Services. You can also request a demo via our website, or follow our blog for important updates and launch dates.

Successful Seed & Objectives

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Rex is excited to announce we closed our seed round Sunday! The capital will facilitate development, grow marketing, and provide essential resources for team expansion.

Rex’s objectives over the next nine months:

1. Token Distribution: We are finalizing revisions to the token distribution model. The REX token supply has been adjusted to reflect community feedback obtained in August and September. Details will be released soon with Rex’s updated white paper.

2. Team Members: Rex is hiring and expanding the team. Specifically, we are interviewing developers that specialize in Solidity, Go, JavaScript and design.

3. Technology: We were impressed with several dapp presentations at Devcon 2 and look forward to collaborating with at least two that compliment Rex’s infrastructure. Specifically, we look forward to exploring uPort for identity and Swarm for data distribution.

4. Design: Rex’s user base will be brokers, landlords, buyers, sellers and cryto enthusiasts. It’s our goal to be one of the first Ethereum dapps to on board mainstream users. To do so, we are innovating heavily on the user experience and creating a unique, intuitive layout that users can navigate seamlessly.

5. Promotion: We’ve attended several real estate conferences in the last six months which has lead to phenomenal exposure for Rex. We have identified key conferences all over the world where we can continue to educate the real estate industry on Rex and its underlying technologies.

6. Partnerships: We’re firm believers that every great product starts with a great team. Rex is exploring partnerships in the brokerage, title, finance and technology communities.
Surrounding Rex with a global, experienced network of advisors will provide a balanced set of expertise, wisdom, and experience.

7. Token Sale: Rex will host a community-based Token Sale late second quarter/early third quarter 2017. Token Specifics, including supply and distribution, will be released soon.

We recently attended MetaProp, a commercial real estate technology conference in New York City. Blockchain was a curious topic amongst attendees. We spoke to brokers, government officials and developers who recognize it’s potential but remain skeptical about its real-life applicability. Thus far, Ethereum has little exposure in PropTech. Through Rex’s continued pitch, we feel privileged to introduce the benefits of Ethereum and some of the data distribution protocols such as IPFS.

Rex is starting to receive extraordinary support from the real estate community. We look forward to releasing the first global, decentralized multiple listing service and real estate smart contract application built on top of the Ethereum protocol!

If you are interested in joining the core team and being apart of the future of real estate, data, and technology, please email us:

support@rexmls.com

Rex

Shanghai –> Beta

After the concluding talk – The Ethereum Foundation

IMG_5451Devon 2 was a massive success. Rex had the opportunity to meet members of the Ethereum community to discuss key topics as they relate to the future of the ecosystem.

First, we would like to thank the Ethereum Foundation for hosting such a fantastic event. Everyone did a tremendous job, and China is a fascinating country. Next, as many of you know, data distribution is a fundamental component of Rex’s infrastructure. We’re thrilled to of met Juan and Jeremy from IPFS and want to congratulate the IPFS team on their continued success!

We are humbled by all those that approached us with their enthusiasm and excitement for Rex!

We’re back at our keyboards hard at work. First, revising the token distribution model. Next, refining the RexDex and implementing a streamlined user experience. Finally, building a pristine user interface that will simplify the process in which our users interact with cryptocurrency and tokenization.

We are in talks with several seed investors whose contributions will accelerate development and provide key partnerships for global expansion.

If you have a passion Ethereum, blockchain + data distribution and are looking to take part in the future of real estate, please email us!

support@rexmls.com

Specifically:

-Go/Solidity developer

-UI/UX guru (css/html/java script)

Thank you for your continued support and a terrific time in Shanghai!

IMG_5454

 

Dapp versioning and community consensus

One of the interesting challenges with smart contract based Dapps is continuity.  Lets say you have a complex Dapp that relies on half a dozen different contracts, very quickly during development it becomes apparent that some sort of versioning system needs to be applied to the contracts that are deployed and which versions support what API.

Most developers wont want to bother with updating their dapp each time a new contract version is deployed.  The obvious progression is to allow the existing contracts to manage their own versioning with developer only triggered upgrades that point the contract to use sub contract v1.2 instead of v1.1 for example.

This works great, and means if there is ever a nasty bug in any of the contracts the developer can easily upgrade the contract in realtime and all users of the dapp will instantly get the new *hopefully* bug free logic.

However, there is a massive risk in that last paragraph.. “The developer can easily upgrade the contract in realtime”.   Can you imagine if Bitcoin had the ability to change its logic at anytime without any consensus from the community?

When deploying contracts that deal with a large user base that have to trust the contract rules, like a global token of value it is important that the logic/rules cannot be changed without large scale agreement.

You could of course create a voting system where token holders vote on which change/contract is allowed to supersede the previous.  And this will certainly be used in many scenarios, however most changes will require parallel changes in the Dapp/UI which will also require the users to update their software at just the right time.. tricky.  Why not bundle the code updates and smart contract version updates into the one software release.  This way consensus can only happen by physically stopping your old dapp and installing the new version and starting it back up.

This slow, physical upgrade path provides time to analyse the results of the changes, discuss with peers, code review, and gives the end users the ultimate choice as to which changes they agree with and enact upon.  Unfortunately this means fixing bugs will take hours-days instead of seconds-minutes but the trade-off seems worth it.

There will be utility contracts and non critical contracts etc that can be switched by the developer, but token related contracts should have some guarantee of continuity.

Data Democracy

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In our last post we briefly described three problems Rex is trying to solve in the real estate industry, starting with the multiple listing service.

A question often posed is why we chose to solve these issues using Ethereum and IPFS. Subsequent to why, we are asked to describe the benefits of incorporating these technologies into the solution.

Our answer is simple: Data Democracy. To elaborate lets better understand the problem at hand:

The HTTP protocol was designed to address data on a specific computers IP address and/or location within the network. The effect encourages content to be attributed to a specific physical computer or “node”. The node is centrally located in some geographic location (office/home/data center). The data sits on a physical hard drive that is owned, maintained and financed by a person(s), group or entity.

This has been an efficient way to distribute content. Updates to the source are immediate and authorative. Two excellent examples include publishing a blog or running an online store for a company to sell goods and services. Today’s success of the web is a testament to how well the system works. There are two main issues with this model:

1. Scaling, once a website starts to become popular the owner needs to scale up the hardware/cloud instances etc to support the demand. This can be expensive and those costs need to be passed down to the consumers of the website.

2. This rise of peer contributed content websites, and this is where the big problems start.

Over time, the hosted subject matter has pivoted from content created by the host and about the host to content created by the user (eBay, Facebook, Twitter). Humans are inherently lazy and have become amenable to exchanging data for free services without much of a thought that they no longer own the thoughts, comments and pictures they have signed over to the website operators.

Overtime these individual companies continue to collect tiny fragments of information from a global user base. The information has become a commodity to these organizations. The user has become their product.

The Real Estate industry is no different. Centralized multiple listing services have taken a market commanding lead in terms of readership/listings, in turn dictating rules, price and conditions. The users options are limited to:

A. forgo the platform, missing out on a huge market around the world or,

B. acquiesce to the platforms rules regs and fees.

Smaller competitors try to compete with free listings but obtain very little readership. An obstacle has been how to incentivize users to switch. “Why switch to a listing service that has very little readership? If they do beat the big guys, they themselves will run into the same monopoly of data and scaling issues thus starting the vicious cycle all over again.

This very simple problem of data residing on a physical hard drive on a physical server that a physical person or company pays for is the cause of these problems. We believe in decentralizing and democratizing the data, giving it back to the people.

We believe your listing data should be free. Free for you to do with it as you please without signing over control to a large corporation. Because it’s in these large corporations interest to lock down and restrict access to your their data to only ways which benefit them.

Initially, we also believe we can incentivize the real estate community to switch by not only offering a low cost alternative but issue rewards to them to list on Rex.

Unfortunately there is a bit more complexity involved with decentralizing the data. However with today’s advances in storage/bandwidth there is light at the end of the tunnel. Projects such as IPFS are paving the way by changing the HTTP location based addresses to content based addresses. Combined with flexible blockchains like Ethereum we can rebuild the old centralized multiple listing services into decentralized platforms where users retain ownership of their data and users no longer become the product of large corporations. Of course the big players can still use the data but we end their monopoly. They are forced compete on a level playing field thus refocusing on value added services.

Rex – The decentralized MLS

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Sheriff Garrett finally shot Billy the Kid. Frontier has passed. Homestead is here. Time for stabilization.

The current process for buying, selling and funding real estate has become functionally obsolete.

The idea behind Rex started with an Aussie and an American seeking to streamline real estate transactions. Specifically, we wanted to build an efficient way to transfer title. Whether commercial or residential, purchasing real estate is a time consuming and expensive process. Through extensive research we realized the category is not quite ready for crypto (let alone smart contracts). Real estate, specifically commercial, tends to be the last industry to adopt new technologies. We decided to take the Reed Hastings/Netflix approach:

Reed Hastings built Netflix with the idea of streamlining the way consumers view content. Using Hastings platform, consumers could rent a video online to avoid the inconveniences associated with traditional retail (time, travel, and late fee’s). The value of Netflix was created through the maturity of digital technology and the comfortablility of paying/obtaining content via the internet. Netflix capitalized on both opportunities but remained patient through the transition period. Today, Netflix is one of the largest content providers in the world.

Rex envisions blockchain technology (in real estate) will take a similar path. The technology requires time to evolve and the consumer/user requires trust in the system.

Rex’s first release will be Q1:

A decentralized, global multiple listing service with an internal token exchange (RexDex). The idea being to get the community comfortable with the platform and technology. We also see a major opportunity to disrupt the current multiple listing ecosystem (especially in commercial).

Second, Rex will test a crowdfunding/smart contract feature. We will start with a single property use case. If the beta is successful, Rex will introduce a formal release called World Trade (Release 2: WT).

Third, Rex will test smart contracts as they relate to the transfer of title. This feature is further down Rex’s roadmap (Release 3: 1 Canada Square, 1CS)

We will continue to develop the White Paper and plan to have a beta release sometime in the near future.

Stay tuned…

Rex