A Wide, Wild World
We’ll be the first to admit that we work in a pretty wacky space. For years now, the headlines of “free houses in Japan!” have been reliably and swiftly followed by reactive commentary. How it’s too good to be true, an outright hoax, or that you’ll pay much more than you expected for. Sounds kinda like cryptocurrency.
In a nutshell, we agree with all of this. It is a sad fact that often enough these properties start out as perfectly viable buildings but slowly waste away over years of neglect. There are a number of reasons for this such as inheritance or stigmatization issues, and these have been well-documented over the years.
Data governance is also a big problem. With hundreds of akiya listings siloed in independent repositories, the data is utterly filthy. This, too, is a shame. The legacy systems, like the business model, isn’t built to do what it’s supposed to, and fails.
For some, this is understandably a deal breaker, and that’s just fine with us. We understand that this is a niche market and that there are many reasons why staying in the city works for you.
Who We’re Looking For
Of course, we’d love to hit critical mass with akiya one day, but it’s still early, and most aren’t comfortable yet. To change that, there’s a considerable amount of work to do with the akiya brand. They’ve been in the papers for years now, and usually in a negative or confusing light.
As such, we recognize that we’re looking for a relatively specific person. For those moving, it is usually someone with some extra cash, workspace flexibility, a knack for DIY projects, is part of sustainability efforts, and likes adventure. That’s not to say others need not apply, but we appear to have a type.
Akiya are still a very unique asset class for most, and don’t have much certainty about them. But akiya aren’t the only thing like that out there. That’s right, folks, we’re talking cryptocurrency. Like Bitcoin, or Ether, or XYM.
This might sound a bit out of left field, and that’s sort of the point. To attract the type of character we think is most suited for the early days of akiya, we need to stand out. The A&I brand needs to communicate the adventurousness of our product, that we lean very far forward. With that in mind, we’re excited to announce that we’re now accepting cryptocurrency payments for research services. This will be limited to BTC, ETH, and XYM for the time being, however over time we will support other cryptocurrencies.
We’re getting on the cryptocurrency train for a reason, too. That data problem mentioned earlier in this article shouldn’t be ignored. Because the data is so poorly maintained, most of these places stay off of potential buyers’ radars. If you don’t believe us, stop reading and go find an akiya you like.
To rectify this, we’re conceptualizing an app to address it, and cryptocurrency and blockchain keep coming up as potential solutions. Imagine searching freely through a database of verified ledgers of property activity so detailed you’re comfortable to buy sight unseen, find a property, initiate a cryptocurrency escrow transaction, trigger an automated digital document signing, and in about 5 minutes the keys are yours to pick up.
Right now, that process literally takes weeks – there is no good way about it. The cryptocurrency scene in Japan is a relatively strong one. With this new offering, we hope to attract the attention of some of the more wild ones out there itching for a challenge.