Two patents applications were published this week dealing with different aspects of property rentals:
The first application, filed by startup Rentberry, teaches a method for crowdsourcing information about a rental property, its landlords, community members, and potential tenants and storing that information on a blockchain to facilitate a bidding process between tenants for available housing. The claims also include assigning a quality score to a tenant based on their previous renting experiences. The system would allow the community members to have a say in the chosen tenant as well as help the tenant with security deposits and rent in exchange for higher interest rates and blockchain-based "rental tokens" that can be transferred and redeemed at other properties. Rentberry was established in 2015 and currently operates in a number of international cities, including New York, Berlin, and Paris. The company has received over $8M in funding according to Crunchbase but has come under fire for disempowering tenants in places where rent is already very high. This is Rentberry's first patent in the Cryptocurrency/Blockchain sector.
The second application tackles the ever-tricky roommate agreement by teaching a method for creating an automatic smart contract between users sharing a lease which, when invoked, can trigger financial consequences including payment between roommates or even termination of ownership. The contract is activated by votes, cast by each user involved; when there are enough votes to trigger one of the clauses, the users must then deal with the consequences. Since the contract is based on a distributed ledger, all users have identical copies of the contract and any resulting transaction records and must agree on any changes to be made. The application is filed by Social Equity Incorporated, which does not have any other patent filings in the Cryptocurrency/Blockchain sector.
As blockchain technology becomes more ubiquitous, you can view more industrial applications on the Magic Number® Patent Radian®.