While one of the primary goals of technology is to extend and enhance the quality of services across industries to existing and previously overlooked customers, sometimes, tech innovation can have unintended consequences. One of the interesting stories to read today is about a Silicon Valley startup that attempts to tackle a complex home renting experience. Particularly, the roadblock many face in finding a new home in hot areas, such as San Francisco – the security deposit. The company brings together crowdfunding, cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and payments.
The Technology That Aims to Disrupt the Security Deposit
- Rentberry, an online rental marketplace, wants tenants to pay security fees in cryptocurrency and have micro-lenders cover most of the deposit.
- Rentberry turns Craigslist into eBay, Kriston Capps describes. The service invites potential renters to fill out comprehensive online profiles and participate in an auction-style bidding process for housing—the best offer wins. As a result, in San Francisco and San Jose, Rentberry raised rents by 5%.
- Today, Rentberry lists 220,000+ properties in 4,948 cities and is used by 120,000+ people.
- Rentberry claims to have found a way to make security deposits cheaper for renters, hassle-free for landlords, and majorly profitable for anonymous third parties—all using cryptocurrency.
- Rentberry’s deposit scheme works like this: Landlords will now be able to use the platform’s existing online marketplace to charge a security deposit on a property, using Rentberry’s personal cryptocurrency called BERRYs. Instead of paying the deposit in full, the renters just put down the first 10% as a deductible. Then, a community of micro-lenders – a crowd that can range from one to thousands ...