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Johnney Zhang Is Introducing Crypto to the Housing Industry

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Q+A

Johnney Zhang Is Introducing Crypto to the Housing Industry

With his cryptocurrency play, United States Property Coin, Zhang aims to turn real estate into a form of long-term capital for all Americans and resolve a widening affordability crisis in the rental market and beyond


By Layne Deakins, Associate Editor December 3, 2022
Primior's Venice Beach, California, co-living property
Primior's first property in Venice Beach, Calif., is co-living facility that will allow Gen-Z and Millennial tenants to rent affordable housing units. | Photo: courtesy Primior
This article first appeared in the November/December 2022 issue of Pro Builder.
Johnney Zhang CEO of Primior and United States Property Coin
Johnney Zhang
CEO
Primior, USPC

Cryptocurrency has yet to make major waves in the real estate market, but Johnney Zhang, CEO of real estate development and asset management firm Primior, seeks to change that with United States Property Coin (USPC). Created to combat financial volatility associated with record-setting inflation in the U.S. economy, USPC is backed by income-producing real estate and housing projects (that is, rentals), allowing each shareholder to reap the benefits of home equity gains without being, or becoming, a homeowner. By turning real estate into a form of long-term capital for all Americans, Zhang hopes to resolve a widening affordability crisis in the rental market and beyond.

PRO BUILDER: United States Property Coin recently secured its first seed asset, a multifamily property in Venice Beach, Calif. How was that property selected?

Johnney Zhang: The Venice Beach property will be built from the ground up by Primior as a co-living facility that will allow Gen-Z and Millennial tenants to rent affordable housing units. We want to deliver housing to young people and provide them with personal finance products that will appreciate over time and allow them to build wealth along with their incomes.

One of the core philosophies of USPC is resolving the affordable housing situation that’s really hurting younger generations. This Venice property has affordable housing components and still offers a number of lifestyle amenities.


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PB: How does real estate–backed cryptocurrency respond to inflation?

JZ: Inflation is a massive issue right now, and in response to Federal Reserve rate hikes and major changes to the U.S. economy, crypto in the broader market went up because so much money was injected into the market with unbalanced supply and demand.

Real estate is the best hedge against inflation because you can’t live without it. It’s been proven historically for centuries that real estate controls the direction of inflation. Blockchains and tokens offer so many benefits traditional finance systems like stocks cannot, but they have nothing to back them up. As an asset-backed security token, USPC pairs this new kind of financing with something tangible—real estate—giving it fundamental value.

PB: How does this type of capital appreciate and how can shareholders use that to their advantage?

JZ: Unlike Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency, USPC assets are easy to track. Anyone can access the value of our real estate through public records, and shareholders can use that information to calculate their net asset value in tokens. People can make their own determination of the value they think it’s worth, and USPC shareholders can invest any amount of money they choose.

Blockchains and tokens offer so many benefits traditional finance systems like stocks cannot, but they have nothing to back them up. As an asset-backed security token, USPC pairs this new kind of financing with something tangible—real estate—giving it fundamental value.

Normally, if someone wants to invest in real estate, they must buy a house, work with agents, get a loan, and move through what is a long, expensive process. With USPC, investors can use their real estate shares just like other forms of cryptocurrency and build wealth off of real estate without the liability of homeownership.

When you buy a token, you have fractionalized ownership of the entire portfolio, so you own a small piece of hundreds of properties put together instead of just one home. This kind of real estate investment works well for renters who aren’t building equity but who also aren’t interested in becoming homeowners.

PB: How exactly can consumers invest through USPC? Can you walk us through that process?

JZ: Those looking to invest can choose from any real estate properties owned by USPC, select the location or the market of their choice, and produce long-term appreciation without having to even make the hard decisions themselves.

We've put together a team of experts that will provide investors with real estate options based on their individual portfolios. From there, our users can sit back and wait for a return on their investment. 

PB: How is USPC working to combat the affordable housing crisis?

JZ: As housing costs continue to rise, a number of would-be buyers are being forced into the rental market, and we’re creating a place for them to build wealth that may eventually propel them into the for-sale market or will allow them to continue making money as investors while remaining in the rental market.

Buying real estate through USPC lets you live anywhere you want while investing your money in a place where it will appreciate. It’s not just more profitable than leaving money in the bank, it’s also safer than stocks or other forms of cryptocurrency because it offers a more transparent, liquid, asset-backed medium of currency that’s based on real estate, which is real and accessible.

 

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