This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Real Estate series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and real estate.
In this interview we speak with Adrian Lai, CEO of Liquefy, to understand how this company is using blockchain to transform the real estate business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Liquefy? Why and how did you begin?
AL: Liquefy’s founders came from a mixed background of finance, technology and law. We have been looking for opportunities to monetize blockchain-related opportunities beyond the hype. In 2018 the uprising of tokenization and security tokens had caught our attention with their potential to disrupt the illiquid asset market. Although tokenization had started gaining traction in America and other Western economies, there was little to no progress in Asia. That is when my partners and I established Liquefy with the aim to lead the development of asset tokenization in Asia. Liquefy is an end-to-end tokenization platform that provides security token issuance and compliance services to reputable companies across Asia.
2. Please describe your use case and how Liquefy uses blockchain:
AL: The average yearly increase in the price of real estate in Hong Kong is higher than the average increase in salary of the population. This means that an average citizen can never invest in real estate. Even if you have enough money, would you rather invest all your money in a real estate property or diversify it into various smaller assets? The goal behind Liquefy’s technology is to make illiquid assets more liquid, providing investors and businesses with the flexibility to better decide their financial destiny.
We have partnered with Stan Group (the real-estate family office with HK$50 billion in assets) to jointly explore the opportunities of asset tokenization in Asia. Outside of Hong Kong, we have formed a strategic partnership with The Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum and SEED Group with the vision to build a comprehensive security token ecosystem in Dubai.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
AL: We are working with real estate developers and a movie production house. While real estate use cases are easily understood, we are now working with the movie production house to tokenize movies – allowing investors besides traditional media conglomerates to pre-finance movies. To start off, we are tokenizing several movies, and we are also whitelabelling our distribution platform to our client, so they can allow their investor base to invest in the tokenized movies. On top of that, we are also exploring duel-token economy with the client, meaning to add additional features to the security tokens. Apart from ownership, investors can enjoy features such as priority to meet with actors / actresses in the future.
4. What other blockchain use cases in real estate are you excited about?
AL: Another exciting use case that we are exploring combines real estate with eSports games. Imagine we are partnered with a gaming company developing tower-defence games. The gaming company can integrate the real estate that we tokenize into their game as a tower. Now, investors can get in-game currencies minted from their security tokens in the real property, allowing them to purchase special towers and compete against other players. From automated compliance and less paperwork to being able to mint security tokens in a game, blockchain has umpteen use cases in real estate.
5. Where will Liquefy be in 5 years?
AL: The vision of the company in the next few years is to become a digital financial advisor for global investors to gain access to a new world of alternative investment. Imagine investors could customize their portfolio on our platform selecting exposure in various alternative assets such as real estate, funds, sports teams,etc. They can also rebalance their portfolio on a quarterly basis with our platform integrated with exchanges. To achieve this vision, Liquefy is now accumulating our asset pipeline, and to form partnerships with investors, brokers and funds who would be interested in alternative asset investments.