21 March 2019

Law firm leads French real estate tokenisation

Group of experts come together in France to study the tokenisation of real estate in response to la loi PACTE and National Assembly draft bill.

By Dr David Cowan

National Assembly Shutterstock

The experts are responding to la loi PACTE (Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises) bill, an action plan for business growth and transformation, and National Assembly reports on the usage of blockchain.

Working group

The working group has been initiated by  CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats and real estate blockchain company Olarchy to study the challenges and opportunities of tokenising real estate,  based on proof of concepts (PoC). The group of experts is led by Michael Sigda, director at HBS-Research and cofounder of Olarchy, and, Karima Lachgar and Jerome Sutour, lawyers at CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats. The group brings together various participants, including issuers, investors, token issuance platforms, notaries and lawyers. The group also includes the public bodies concerned with publishing a report at the end of the year on the development of blockchain in  the real estate sector. The report is based on discussions since October of last year to examine how real estate assets can be registered and transferred on a blockchain. The input for this report is being used to define use cases within the context of PoCs. Annnounced by finance minister Bruno Le Maire last October, la loi PACTE is a major piece of legislation in President Macron’s ambition to change the country, the overall objectives of the proposed law are to help the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increase employees’ involvement in their company’s success by, for example, profit-sharing. The law is also intended to introduce major pension reforms. The adoption of a new legislative and regulatory framework via Article 26 of PACTE, includes a legal definition of a digital asset and creates a visa system for issuers of tokens, which supplements a December 2017 ordinance on security tokens.


The expectation is that blockchain will be the catalyst for digital transformation of the real estate sector, bringing greater liquidity, process and transaction optimization, increased confidence and transparency. Mr Sigda said  blockchain represents the how the digital revolution can work in the real estate sector, ‘through a blockchain, you can exchange different rights - rights of use, property rights - faster and even instantly by attracting and having access to new classes of investors.’ Jean Michel Mis, deputy in the national assembly, who participated in the working group, noted the digitization of real estate and the tokenization of the economy makes it ‘crucial that the actors of these two ecosystems collaborate.’ Mr Mis is rapporteur of the joint information mission on blockchain uses and other technologies of registry certification, and, co-editor of the blockchain information mission. He added, ‘drastic changes in investment and real estate use will occur in the next five years. We need to be ready as public authorities, businesses and citizens.’

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