Business & Economy
Meet the Northumbrian using cryptocurrency to address the UK’s housing crisis
March 4, 2020
Having swapped the rolling Tynedale hills for the ever-shifting Dubai dunes more than two decades ago, James Hare’s thoughts have once again turned to “home”.
Not necessarily his old abode, but the fact that the UK has almost two million people registered as waiting to find a home and a Government facing up to a severe lack of social housing.
“The least anyone living in a country as rich as the UK deserves is a place to live,” said James, who has more than 20 years’ experience in property development, private equity and operating in international markets.
“To come anywhere near addressing the current housing shortage, the Government must build over three million homes over the next 20 years, and even that doesn’t help the people who are desperately in need of homes now.
“I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that to get anywhere near this target, a radical re-think of the way affordable and social housing is currently being delivered is required.”
And this is where BRIKCOIN comes in.
James developed BRIKCOIN to offer investors access to an ‘easy in/easy out’ high-growth UK property investment, with no fees, no commissions and secured by ownership of the properties themselves.
“We are developers,” said James.
“Our aim is to turn a profit and investors are no different. But this business model enables us to do that as well as act as a catalyst for a social housing rebirth, helping improve the quality of people’s lives by creating safe, healthy and sustainable communities.”
BRIKCOIN is the first decentralised blockchain application dedicated to delivering 100 per cent genuinely affordable and social housing in the UK.
The business last year issued one billion tokens to potential investors on its platform and was released on global cryptocurrency exchanges on February 29.
It has become more than a business venture for James. Having worked for 20 years in the worlds of international finance and development, he backs the BRIKCOIN concept to not only stimulate housebuilding across the UK, but also revolutionise current investment models, making them quicker, simpler and more transparent.
Dubai may now be home, but James hails from a Tynedale family.
His father Rad is a councillor and served twice as town Mayor. The Hare family spent James’ early years in Nigeria, before returning to Northumberland, where he attended Mowden Hall School, in Stocksfield.
“My first full-time job was in banking and finance in Dubai. I received an offer and travelled over on my own in 1997, to a place very different to what it is now.
“I wanted the adventure of living and working abroad while building my own career,” said James.
“When Dubai’s freehold property market opened up, I structured project finance for residential and commercial projects, working with both international and regional banks. These were ‘first of their kind’ structures for this region, where I was securing senior debt funding for foreign-owned development companies.”
Based in Dubai for 22 years, James has developed affordable residential schemes, exclusive villa collections and commercial office towers in London, Dubai and Colorado, USA. His knowledge of structuring, recapitalising and driving projects to completion led him to creating his current vision and to the launch of BRIKCOIN.
“Cryptocurrency represents a world of opportunity for investors, but we recognise that we’re going to have to overcome some misconceptions, mainly due to high-profile Bitcoin scams a few years ago,” adds James.
“Those were a lifetime ago in terms of the speed that technology is moving, but it’s what comes to mind for some when they think “crypto”.
“However, many of the world’s largest companies are now integrating the blockchain into investment models and its advancement and adoption is moving far quicker than the internet 20 years ago.”
BRIKCOIN utilises ‘crypto’ as a new form of shares, but with the significant efficiencies the blockchain offers – it’s fast, transparent, cost effective and liquid.
James said: “We are matching future tech to accepted understanding of land and property.
“BRIKCOIN is a second-generation crypto and has been established as a company built on solid ground with a highly experienced team driving it…our ultimate aim is to be the UK’s top community-focused affordable housing developer.”
So, how will BRIKCOIN deliver the bricks and mortar to solve the UK housing crisis?
The model is relatively simple: the sale of BRIKCOIN will fund affordable housing schemes across the UK, working in partnership with local authorities.
BRIKCOIN retains ownership of, and management responsibility for, the properties, building a portfolio and increasing the “token” value.
Long lease guarantees from the local authority are then sold to financial institutions, such as the pension funds, with BRIKCOIN benefiting from a competitive profit.
BRIKCOIN will also generate revenues from fees associated with property development and facilities management.
James added: “We believe everyone should have a home – safe, clean and secure, a place to grow and live a happy and healthy life with your family. Thriving communities are our focus and our future.
“BRIKCOIN will help address the UK housing crisis by delivering 100 per cent genuinely affordable housing.
“And with the long lease agreements, everyone living in a BRIKCOIN home will have a home for life.
“And the best bit? Through covenant, every property we build will remain affordable forever.”