Real estate transactions have been a sought after use case for blockchain for several years. Startup organizations such as REX, Ubiquity, and Velox.re are focused on leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology to improve real estate transaction efficiency and visibility. Several other firms, such as Bitfury, Factom, and Bitland Global, have explored assisting nation states with employing blockchain technology to reduce corruption within their land titling processes. Even the fourth largest titling company in the United States, Stewart Title, has participated in the blockchain ecosystem through their investment in Factom’s USD 8 million Series A raise. Read More >>
If you want to go (much) deeper, read this – a thesis on blockchain for a Masters of Science in Real Estate Development degree from MIT.
Entire industries operate within the real estate transaction system to ensure compliance and reconciliation. Many of them are ripe (potential) use cases to exhibit the benefits of blockchain. Hundreds of millions of dollars in effort and resources are consumed by activities that can be replaced by blockchain technology. In real estate, blockchain could be (will be?) a total game changer.
Within the US and other developed nations, the infrastructure is mature to support real estate transactions. Replacing entrenched players (e.g. title companies, legions of real estate lawyers) will happen, but it will take time. Among less developed nations, however, leaders have an opportunity to employ a more efficient system for significantly less cost. Akin to how Africa moved to wireless telephony without bothering to build out wired infrastructure, less developed nations with nascent or non-existent real estate transaction infrastructure can move to blockchain-based systems faster, cheaper, and with less legacy pushback.
We expect early blockchain-based real estate systems to emerge among these less developed states first. Further, given the global footprint of blockchain technology and the need for local relationships to ensure execution, it is probable that the organizations behind such implementations will not be US-based (though blockchain technology will almost certainly have a major impact on real estate developments over time, overseas AND in the US).
For today’s real estate industry, the question isn’t a matter of “if”, but “when” will blockchain technology supplant existing players?. Those interested in understanding, tracking, or predicting this emergence should look to non-US organizations. In particular, check out their connections to lesser developed nations for effective, inexpensive implementations of blockchain technology in the real estate arena.