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Dominium Aims To Digitize The Property World, Adding Much Needed Transparency To A Global Industry

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Below is our recent interview with Esther Dekker, Property Director at Dominium:

Esther Dekker

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Dominium?

A: Dominium aims to digitalise the property world, adding much needed transparency to a global industry to the benefit of all. Developed by property professionals with nearly two centuries of experience, the platform intends to overcome some long-standing problems in the real estate market through the use of blockchain technology.

Q: How does the Dominium blockchain work for property financing & management?

A: Dominium offers a complete suite of tools and services to property professionals, investors, sellers, renters and buyers. Properties will be sold, bought, rented, renovated and financed and all can be recorded on Dominium, with an emphasis on regulation and KYC.

Standardised regulatory documents will be available on the platform, tailored to specific countries and products, and users will have to comply with AML/KYC procedures. We will obtain an umbrella licence allowing third parties to issue assets (e.g. securities such as property funds) on our Blockchain under our licence. Therefore, for the first time ever, companies will be able to set up regulated property funds without lawyers, and people will be able to invest in regulation compliant property funds from as little as €1, $1, £1, etc.

Using Ardor technology, activities on the platform will be recorded on a bespoke blockchain, so the platform will allow all activities to take place in a secure and transparent environment. For example, a property will be listed for sale or rent at a certain price. If the price goes up or down, interested parties will be able to see this, and it will be recorded on the blockchain, which means it cannot be tampered with. When people put it an offer, this will also be recorded, thus ensuring that owners, estate agents and other parties will not be able to hide or mislead users about the price of a property or how many others are interested.

Finally, activities on the Dominium platform will be charged in Euros but must be paid in DOM utility tokens. The fees charged for activities on the platform will be highly affordable in comparison to property related fees that are currently charged by professionals. For example, listing a property on the platform will cost €1.00, selling an asset will cost €0.50 and a purchase agreement will be charged at €5.00. So selling a property could cost as little as €6.50. When compared with estate agent fees (not taking into account legal fees, notary fees, bank fees etc.), this is a significant saving.

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Q: What are Dominium platform’s unique selling points compared to other projects in the real estate tokenisation space?

A: Most other real estate projects consist of a basic tokenisation of a specific property fund as a means of fundraising and subsequent dividend pay-out. We feel that this is not an industry changer; there is no need to tokenise property funds or individual properties. What we are trying to do is a lot broader in scope; we are trying to add regulatory compliance and the safety and convenience of digitalisation to the entire property world. We would like to become the de-facto platform that other real estate tokenisation projects will use to list and trade their products.

We want all property related transactions, such as maintenance events (boiler changes, paint jobs, electricity and water issues, etc.), rental events (tenants paying on time, when change of tenants, etc.) and of course the actual registration of properties, to be recorded and managed on a decentralised platform. As things currently stand in the property industry, this information is often difficult to come by and as such we rely on estate agents, lawyers and other centralised parties to convey it.

Another USP is that we have compiled a team of industry experts and possess everything required “in-house” to fully complete the platform. Our founders already operate property funds, manage property portfolios, run rental agencies, advise property investors, etc. so we are well equipped to design a product for our own industry. Moreover, the company behind the software platform is financially self-sufficient, structured to support future development and stabilise the value of the DOM token.

Q: What is the purpose of the DOM token?

A: DOM is a utility token, which means that it is associated with a service. Activities on the Dominium platform are charged in Euros but must be paid in DOM tokens. These activities include creating or trading an asset, listing a property for sale or rent, and registering a rental or purchase contract.

By using DOM tokens on the platform, activities are registered on the blockchain, and the use of the platform makes the transactions highly cost effective. For example, the Dominium platform will provide standardised regulatory documentation, which will vary by jurisdiction and be available to those wanting to launch a property fund. Fund creators will have to pay a relatively small fee of €2,500 (paid in DOM of course) to set up a regulated asset. When compared to standard legal fees applicable to setting up fund documents, which can run into hundreds of thousands of Euros, this should be a very attractive prospect to fund creators and could completely open up the property fund market.

Although DOM is a utility token, it is still important that its value is stabilised. Too many ICOs/ITOs fail shortly after their launch, and the coins/tokens quickly become worthless. Our platform is being developed by Dominium B.V. which is a registered company and will be financially self-sufficient once the ITO money is used to purchase property. The company will buy back DOM tokens regularly to ensure that their value is maintained. These tokens will be destroyed thus ensuring a diminishing supply of DOM, which should further stabilise its value.

Q: Why did you choose Ardor?

A: In a nutshell, Ardor technology provides the features that the Dominium platform requires. Specifically, Ardor’s permissioned childchain allows us to implement different security clearance levels and open up different features on the platform accordingly. This is important to our AML/KYC and compliance adherence. At the same time, the childchain is open to public examination which is important to our transparency aspirations. This combination of features is available on Ardor, as are several other functionalities that make development much easier.

Importantly, Ardor does not suffer from high transaction fees and blockchain bloat as many other technologies do. Cost effectiveness is a big selling point for Dominium and as such, it is important for us that the blockchain element of the platform does not slow down the activities or drive up the fees.

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Q: What is on the roadmap for Dominium moving forward?

A: We have just announced our ITO date, which is the 3rd of September 2018. We are currently focusing on finalising the platform functionality for property listings, further translations, and getting our users to give us their feedback. Soon we will also be connecting the Dominium platform to the Ardor test-net.

The pre-ITO whitelist is open, and our airdrop and referral programs are ongoing.

On a broader scale, we believe that the potential of the Dominium platform is far-reaching, and we really hope to be able to make a significant positive difference to the global property space.

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