Blockchain and Real Estate

Q: What is a blockchain?

A: “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.


I admit; I don’t yet fully grasp blockchain. But I know it’s going to change/effect how we practice real estate. Open data is changing things, but blockchain seems to be potentially a fundamental shift.

Transparency, incorruptibility, distribution of information, security, anonymity, networks, nodes, decentralization, middlemen … all relevant descriptors, and more than buzzwords it seems.

Still learning, but thought I’d share.

My question: who is the middleman in real estate that blockchain will replace?

The bank? Lender? Closing company? Agent?

For starters

  • How might this affect property records, and buyers’ ability to evaluate home purchases? Here’s one possibility
    • “Or a smart home that keeps a history of all the data flows between the dishwasher, vacuum system, HVAC, and solar panels to optimize for electricity usage and cost.”
    • What if … building permits were added to the chain, along with transfers? Could insurance claims be added to the chain?



  • Forget Bitcoin; it’s the blockchain that might change everything
    • “This new digital ledger of economic transactions can be programmed to record virtually everything of value and importance to humankind: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, financial accounts, medical procedures, insurance claims, votes, provenance of food, and anything else that can be expressed in code.”
  • What is a blockchain? GeekWire’s guide to this game-changing technology and its vast potential (bolding mine)
    • A blockchain is, well, a chain of blocks. It’s a method for sharing a record of an online transaction in a secure and trustworthy way that allows both parties to have a copy of that record without either party having to maintain that record.Most digital transactions have a middleman, like a bank that verifies Party A has the funds and has duly transferred them to Party B in a trusted fashion. The blockchain allows you to skip the bank and transfer money, information, or other services directly to another entity over the internet in a method that both parties can trust.
  • Blockchain driven smart contracts are here to shake things up
    • Typically the contracts are pre-written in a computer code and stored (then replicated) with blockchain. The contracts are then executed and run by the computers in the blockchain.


Google Trends indicate that blockchain interest is growing.

Blockchain on Google Trends
Blockchain on Google Trends




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