On the force of his personality and his stellar capital market background, Edward Nwokedi has brought in over $4 billion in successful property transactions as CEO of RedSwan, a digital marketplace for tokenized commercial real estate.
And yet, says Ed, “It’s taking time to tell people what we do and they still don’t get it.”
Talking about the evolution of the property market, Ed remembers when he couldn’t pronounce tokenization let alone understand it. “Something clicked right away,” he recalls. “I remember thinking this will be great for capital markets.”
“Blockchain is such a smart tool,” he continues. “We thought it would take off right away.”
Founded in 2019, RedSwan is hoping to “democratize the process of investing in commercial real estate” and enhance their clients’ capital market positions.
“Financing of collateralized loans, what we call decentralized financing, is really just ‘finance,’” explains Ed. “Why? Because banks are comfortable with financing real estate as it’s one of the most secure assets on earth.”
Now, with many big cryptocurrency companies in collapse and disarray, Ed sees an opportunity for the rise of digital assets. “All the infrastructure built around cryptocurrencies is looking for what’s next. They’re trying to figure out how the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is going to regulate their world. Everyone’s a little nervous.
“On the other hand, they’re also looking at digital assets in terms of tokenization and NFTs and how they can get into that space because it’s durable and not as volatile. I can see the big shift in this momentum.”
Ed is also conscious of large institutions that have started to use blockchain for their own needs. “The institutions are keeping their blockchain siloed, listing it for their own benefits like reduced costs and larger profits, but they’re also publicizing that they’re using it,” he says. “They’re showing that [using blockchain] is secure, that they’re making money off of it, and lower level property owners understand.
“It helps to have the bigger institutions getting involved in exercising blockchain for digital tokenization,” he concludes.
Creating liquidity options for real estate sponsors and investors is part of the allure of blockchain. “We’re not promising that liquidity has to happen,” Ed explains, “we’re saying that by tokenizing you have an option for liquidity that you never had before.”
For these and other insights into Ed Nwokedi’s thoughts, listen to his full interview on the BlockSolid podcast with host Yael Tamar.