An exciting new blockchain platform for the buying and selling of residential property is to be launched in the Kingdom of Bahrain (Bahrain) in the near future (the Platform). The aim of the innovative Platform is to create a seamless transactional process which will help reduce the overall costs for both the buyer and the seller. Bahrain has taken great steps to enhance the real estate sector in recent years, most recently with the introduction of Legislative Decree No. 27 of 2017 which established RERA (the Real Estate Regulation Authority). The introduction of the Platform is considered to be a fantastic addition to Bahrain’s already thriving real estate sector.

Bahrain FinTech Bay, the Fintech Consortium and OffrBox have signed an agreement to launch the online Platform. OffrBox is a US based Fintech startup and featured as one of New York City’s top 50 start-ups to watch in 2017. OffrBox’s mission is to simplify real estate investing for all people. Offrbox is led by Eric Andrew who is a real estate investor with over 15 years of experience.

The Platform will create a blockchain system for sellers to upload details of their properties (including due diligence documents) onto one single online system. Buyers will then be able to search for and view those properties online. The Platform will then allow the parties to negotiate and use a cloud-based contract process to finalise the transaction. Ultimately the Platform will allow the entire process to be carried out through one single portal. It is proposed that the Platform may be expanded in future to facilitate property financing and allow for the registration of title deeds to the property.

The finite details in relation to the Platform have not yet been released, but it will be interesting to see whether this Platform will support developers who wish to sell multiple units from master-plan type developments or whether it is purely a resource for private individuals only.

Although the implementation of the Platform will be a welcomed addition to the real estate sector and potentially create a hassle-free method of carrying out basic residential conveyancing, it may not be the answer for more complex transactions where for example a thorough review of the due diligence documentation is required.