The founders of holiday rentals sharing service LaComunity have announced the launch of a new blockchain powered ecosystem consisting of a token, a DApp and a marketplace.
The backers claim the platform will make it easier and more secure to manage vacation rentals, eliminating the need for intermediaries and cutting commissions out of the transaction.
The Rentals Network platform will be wholly independent of LaComunity although members of LaComunity will be among the first to be offered the opportunity to manage their properties with the token, known as "The Rentals Token" (TRT).
The TRT blockchain will eliminate many of the uncertainties in holiday residence rentals, including inaccuracy of property information, unreliable reviews, and the transactional costs of agent commissions, say the developers.
Guests will be able to search for properties and owners will be able to list rentals using The Rentals DApp, a user interface to access the Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts of The Rentals Marketplace. The DApp will be released mid-August and an API will be made available so that it can be connected to third party apps that will provide services to renters.
Property owners do not need to be part of LaComunity to join The Rentals Marketplace, and the developers hope that the features of the Marketplace will attract a greater number of participants.
A broader base of properties will be critical in order to ensure the value of the TRT tokens. They will be used to buy stays at other properties, though TRT holders will be able to sell their tokens for Fiat currency at an exchange. Like any other blockchain currency, or miles and points, the value of the currency is relative to the Fiat value of the assets that they buy.
The developers plan several sales of ETH tokens which will form the baseline of TRT and help fund development.
They will start with a private sale to strategic partners and then a public pre-sale with a market cap of €2.5 million or about 8,067 ETH, depending on the actual exchange value of the ETH to euros at the time of sale. They are targeting a starting valuation of 1 ETH for 7,500 TRT tokens.
Another sale of €5 million in value, intended for worldwide buyers, with some exceptions, will be marketed from 17 September to 31 October.
A second portion of the ICO will be carried out in November, and is expected to raise €20 million.
Renting properties by using alternative currencies, such as TRT, ultimately divorces the valuation from Fiat currency. That may pose a challenge going forward for participants, unless the TRT gains enough traction to match or surpass what they would have earned by renting their properties through traditional channels.
However, Fransenc Sanz, the CEO and Founder of the Rentals Token and LaComunity believes that the currency has the potential to become the payment standard for property rentals around the world. He says the savings on commissions will be worth it.
He also argues that the blockchain framework created for The Rentals Token offers all participants a unique trust network that avoids fraud and payment defaults. It will also offer reliable members-only blockchain-verified reviews and transparent property details.
He told tnooz:
“We want that the token is the one that manages all of the relationships in the community so that the community can grow healthy. During the first year, we are allowing both payments and tokens..at the end it is the owner who will chose whether they want to pay with token or Fiat during the first year.”
Here's an infographic showing how the platform will work. Click on the image to bring up a larger version.