- Build a NEAR native integration to enable Digital Nomads to prove income and easily book medium to long term accomodation in foreign countries.
- Explore using Keypom to remove as much of the Blockchain as possible.
- Open invitation to devs and product designers to chime in and help me craft this.
- MetaBuidl team formation? wink wink
Intro [Scratching my own itch]
Being an Australian means that by default I am also a digital nomad. Flights are long and expensive, the world large and exciting. Being able to work remotely means that once I leave Aus I can be on the road for months. I’m still on the go after leaving for NEARCON. After Devcon, I’d like to stay for an extra couple of months in Colombia before returning back to Aus in January.
The Problem (The opportunity)
There’s a fair bit of friction that Digital Nomads face when it comes to securing accomodation.
- Short term accomodation (hotels, airbnbs) are a lot more expensive than renting locally.
- Hotels are often not suitable as they lack kitchen (being able to prepare healthy meals)
- Local Real Estate websites require a lot of documentation to: prove your income, credit history, etc.
*Friction in international payments (bank wires, etc).
Even though I can pay for the entire period of rental upfront, I have not be able to get that sweet apartment with beautiful views I wanted because I don’t have a local bank account, which requires long term visas, etc.
The Solution (Woof Woof)
I am often blown away by the NEAR tech stack and I believe this is a great opportunity to combine and put it to the test to create a seamless User Experience.
Using the Keypom stack (and Meta Transactions?) create a vault where any user is able to deposit and lock assets to prove that they have the funds required to pay for the property.
The Real Estate agency in Colombia did offer me the alternative of creating a CDA (local fixed term deposit account). However, this can also be done in the name of a Colombian Citizen. This would basically be a way to eliminate the barrier of access so that anyone in the world is able to access these services.
Core Functionality (Dat User Flow)
- Add ONE button on the Real Estate Agency website - ‘secure this property with Global Vault’ (or something simple and straightforward like that).
- Clicking on the button automatically create a NEAR wallet for the user using Keypom and;
- Takes user to a Credit Card check out to pay. User pays for the entire balance to be deposited in ‘Vault’. (NEAR Pay, Banxa, Transakt)
- The funds are converted to USDC and deposited into vault.
- Using Keypom leverage the (mind-blowing) functionality to grant limited access keys to perform certain actions, or for only a specific number of times so that: the vault is automatically debited the monthly rent amount and pays it to the Real Estate Agency.
An obvious problem of having a Fixed Deposit in Colombian Pesos (and most currencies of developing countries) is that it depreciates over time. So having Global Vault on USDC (or other acceptable stable coin) is a massive improvement). But what if…
- The deposit in the Global Vault could be made in a Yield Bearing asset such as stNEAR.
- Depending on the functionality of Keypom, the assets could automatically be sold to pay the real estate agent once per month.
- Ratio to be determined. Could be 2x the total amount of rent.
Customer Segments (Where the users at…!?)
There are two separate ways of considering customer segments:
- Integration Partners: this would be the NEAR/Keypom customers, real estate agencies.
Not all real estate agencies are the same. There is a sub-class of ‘real-estate tech’: younger companies that are innovating on the renting and buying experience and are prime candidates for integration. A few examples:
HOUM - available in Mexico, Colombia and Chile. YC Combinator alumni. This is the prime target for the first integration.
La Haus - available in Mexico and Colombia. They are doing some gnarly stuff around Fractional Ownership and already enable you to put down deposits for new properties using Bitcoin.
Habyt - big in Europe.
- Digital Nomads / Travellers: the Real Estate agencies.
As hard as it may be for foreigners to enter rental agreements, Digital Nomads with a laptop are actually hot hot tenants. Earning in USD is a massive bonus in these regions. And as the stay is limited (and we can get deported) there is no risk of staying in the property indefinitely without paying (a real risk with locals, hence why they normally ask for a bunch of documentation).
Go To Market
HOUM is a YC combinator alumni. Orange DAO on NEAR is YC related. I’m starting to reach out to people to see how we can reach the HOUM executives directly.
MetaBuidl III Hackathon - with up to $100,000 in prizes for Web2 to Web3 integration category, also presents an amazing, time-bound opportunity to reach out to them and get this going! Prize money significantly de-risks the venture.
The objective is to have the core tech built out in such a way that can be easily integrated by anyone and to have a Proof of Concept and successful case study to show to others.
What else…? (dO yOu KnOw wHo I aM?!)
The beginning of a global rental history and reputation system…?! What if you could take your AirBnb history to any rental agency in the world?!
- All rental and payment history can be verified and is stored in an accessible way on the blockchain, leverage interoperability to continue to add more Rental Agencies around the world.
- As privacy is required, migrate to our own private shard onCalimero.
- Other customer segments: national governments of countries that offer Digital Nomad visas, that also require proof of assets and income, but a lot of us have most assets and income in crypto.
Like what you hear? Reach out if interested in collaboration!
Got any other spicy Web2 to Web3 integration ideas? Let’s share them on the forum, if we all chime in with suggestions, introductions, technical assistance, etc. we can greatly accelerate pace of innovation.