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Real Estate Threatened By Blockchain

By Dean Signori | July 20, 2018

Buying a house is no easy feat, once you or your real estate agent have found the right home, acquired the funds and once all parties have agreed terms it should all be relatively straight forward right? Wrong. With today’s real estate’s playing a huge role as a neutral third party, this, more often than not creates a lot of time delays and additional financial burdens.

What if buying or selling a house was a much simpler, stress-free and less financially taxing? Well, blockchain and especially bitcoin may be the answer society is looking for…

Unless you’ve been avoiding the media at all costs you have no doubt heard about Bitcoin or the blockchain technology. The blockchain is a revolution in technology, so many are paying close attention at its phenomenal development. But still, most of us don’t actually know what it is with much certainty, only that one bitcoin is worth a substantial amount.

What is the Blockchain and how is it Related to Bitcoin?

Undeniably, the blockchain is an ingenious invention; it is effectively a fully peer to peer digital ledger that can be accessed by everyone at anytime. Every time data is sent it has been verified/approved/witnessed by every single terminal in the world.

Bitcoin is a digital currency, when a payment is made using Bitcoin it is sent over the blockchain.

In layman’s terms, it works exactly like this – Tom wants to buy a three piece furniture suite for £2,000 from Andy, Tom pays Andy using Bitcoin, when Tom pays Andy £2,000 worth of bitcoin, it is recorded on the ledger and essentially backed up by millions of witnesses. If Bob ever tries to refute he paid Andy, the millions of users are witnesses or proof that the money was in fact paid. If anyone else for that matter tries to tell a conflicting story of who owns the furniture suite, the millions of witnesses can instantly refute it. This is what makes it virtually hack proof and impossible to fake, this also removes the need for real estate agents because the transactions and exchanges of documents can be done securely over the blockchain with no need for a 3rd party.  A real world example of this already in place is a project called Agent Not Needed in the UK.

Smart contract applications can be made on the blockchain to verify peoples ID by DNA matching or government papers stored on the blockchain removing the need for documents, these can then be exchanged in a form of escrow on the blockchain. The smart contract receives funds electronically from person A, the smart contract sends funds after blockchain confirmations to person B, the smart contract then sends documents already held to person A and the deal is done in a matter of seconds.

How Does It Differ From Traditional Currencies

  • The main appeal with Bitcoin, is it is decentralised. No bank or government has any control over it. To send or receive payments, no ‘middle man’ is required.
  • Limited supply – There will only ever be a set amount of bitcoin, unlike traditional currencies which can be manipulated by governments and central banks to change the value.
  • Immutability – Once a payment is made or received, it can’t be refunded, cancelled or handled back. Whilst some may not be completely sold on this idea, the benefit is that no transaction can be tampered, faked or hacked, providing ultimate security.
  • Divisibility – Bitcoin can be divised by virtually any amount, the smallest deviation of bitcoin is about 100th of a cent.

Blockchain and Real Estate

With prices currently and continually on a rollercoaster for cryptocurrencies, it’s no surprise that some real estate agents are very cautious. However, many of us are of the opinion that cyrptocurrencies are the future of digital transactions and with savvy brokers and a number of high profile punters wanting to pay using crytpocurrencies, no real estate wants to be left in the dark and take a seat on the sidelines should the blockchain digital phenomenon take over.

Cryptocurrencies will completely eradicate the need for a third party (often extortionately priced) to facilitate and witness the transfer of funds. From a data perspective, the blockhain can hold and securely store all property details and records, making transfer of these instant, easy and safe.

Popularity with Real Estate

At the time of writing, the popularity of cryptocurrencies in real estate is extremely relevant for ‘high rollers’ or punters wanting to purchase high value properties abroad (easily upwards of $500k). Bitcoin eradicates any monitory controls that are in place and where digital trust is essential with such high transactions taking place.

Real estate’s are now actively advertising they accept cryptocurrencies – the huge benefit is estate agents can now more actively capture the foreign investor market and enthusiasts who would rather pay with cryptocurrency that with traditional money. There are many popular articles on the web at the minute listing a whole array of houses sold to people paying with Bitcoin in the UK, USA & Dubai to name a few.

Web Development Trends

Over the past decades, the world and culture in general has seen a massive surge in the internet and web development usage. With the world wide web often the first to establish real life trends, seeing the rise of cryptocurrencies and its use case increasing in many more industries and sectors is a huge positive sign of things to come. If you want more information on trends on the up then read this article by Extollo Marketing, a comprehensive guide for the current cryptocurrency trends in 2018 and what we can expect to see more of in the future.

Real Use Case

With high money house sales already taking place, the immanency purchase of smaller value items is coming, if not upon us. With cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin being used to purchase anything from home furniture to your local weekly shop, it has a life use case scenario for everything. The technology of behind crypto known as blockchain is likely to be seen in more in situations like open homes where an electronic device is used to track who has been to view the home. A smart contract on the blockchain would verify the ID of the individual and hand them a unique passkey. This is a hack proof method and much safer than a device that is ultimately controlled by a human at some point which is its point of weakness.

As the technological world is continually moving at a fast pace and the phenomena of crypto is maturing and evolving, it’s poised to play a huge role in today’s world and especially the future of society. Hold on tight…

"Dean Signori leads the team at Homes Direct 365, a luxury furniture company based in the UK. With over 10,000 products growing daily ranging from antique French style, mirrored & shabby chic furniture. Advising property owners and real estate brokers on interior design and home staging."
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