New American Cities on Blockchain: Tech Billionaire Mark Cuban Reimagines the Real Estate Market

Mark Cuban wants to reshape the real estate market. The billionaire suggests using zero-knowledge layer-2 smart contracts and NFTs to secure housing project investments in the US.

Blockchain based city

Mark Cuban, a billionaire investor best known as one of the “sharks” from ABC’s “Shark Tank” series, expressed his interest in an ambitious project of putting American cities on blockchain. The idea popped up on Twitter, where Cuban picked up a conversation with Jason Calacanis, an internet entrepreneur, angel investor, and author.

Calacanis fantasized about building ten new cities in the US as his first move after becoming president. He imagined “completely planned cities with exceptional affordability, walkability, sustainability, and exceptional amenities.” Out of the blue, Cuban replied with a remark that he owns Mustang, a 77-acre Texas town with zero population, he bought for 2 million in 2021.

Calacanis, keeping up the act, offered to send his interlocutor a request for proposal and specified financial arrangements. Cuban then brought things up to the next level, laying out his vision of securing the investment with blockchain technology.

He envisioned creating a zero-knowledge layer-2 smart contract that checks whether a construction permit has been issued and then sends the investor an NFT. When the oracle determines the investment has been completed based on property and utility records, the NFT gets unlocked, and the money is paid out (Cuban recommends USDC).

To make things work smoothly, the smart contract would continuously check for newly issued construction permits and create a new NFT for every planned additional housing unit. Moreover, Cuban suggests using a multi-signature wallet to guarantee mutual protection for both parties of the transaction.

While the conversation has a light tone, Cuban’s idea seems to make sense. The investor has been an active participant in the crypto market. He invested in Dogecoin and accepted crypto as a means of payment for Dallas Mavericks (a basketball team he bought for $285 million in 2000) tickets and merchandise since 2021.

In September, though, in an unfortunate turn of events, the billionaire lost around $870,000 worth of crypto to cyber thieves. The investor downloaded a fake version of MetaMask – one of the most common crypto wallet managers.

Anyhow, when the time is ripe, the concept of sustainable blockchain cities may easily materialize in the US, with Cuban or someone else at the helm of the project. Blockchain technology is being integrated into urban management systems all over the world. Examples include London, Milan, Oslo, Santiago de Chile, Tel Aviv, and Toronto.