Embracing the Future of Blockchain in Real Estate
Technology is expanding our ability to collect, analyze and transfer information in ways not previously imagined. From building sensors to smart contracts to cryptocurrency transfers, blockchain technology is shaping up to be a powerhouse and a major disruptor to the real estate industry and the world.
What is blockchain? It is a distributed digital ledger that changes the way information is stored and shared between parties with no central database to hack. It resides on a virtual network, not within a single organization and uses encryption with both private and public keys for access. This distributed ledger approach includes a time stamp and stores value exchanges in a permanent record, making it extremely difficult (some say impossible) to alter a record as it would require rewriting the history of the record with all participants watching.
Bitcoin is one of the most recognized applications of blockchain technology. Others include Bitshares, Ethereum for smart contracts, and Abra, a smart wallet application. Platforms built on modified blockchain technology are being explored that can pair smart contracts, payments and property details on a shared system in real time. International investment settlement transfers currently can take three days or more; blockchain technology can reduce the time to mere minutes. The impact of this change to transactions is nothing short of extraordinary.
On the continuum of technology-based evolution, we’ve experienced the Internet of Things moving toward the Internet of Everything. With blockchain technology driving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency applications, we are rapidly moving to the Internet of Finance. The financial services industry likes the security and other features of the technology, and some major players have already invested heavily in it. One large financial institution has more than 35 patents either approved or pending based on this emerging technology.
Regulators are looking at the technology with interest, and a Blockchain Innovation Center opened in September 2016 in Washington, D.C. as a joint venture between the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Technology Incubator 1776. The center is focused on fintech applications, aiding regulators and governmental agencies at all levels to understand the benefits of the technology and address issues including asset registry, cybersecurity and identity management.
How fast is this new technology moving? The World Economic Forum estimated in August of last year that about 80 percent of top global banks will have launched blockchain projects by 2017, describing the technology as the future “beating heart” of the financial sector.
A gathering of U.S.-based banks are proactively engaged in building a blockchain-inspired platform and are driving an international initiative through the R3 Consortium. This commercial venture includes more than 70 of the largest financial institutions globally with the heaviest concentration of members from North America.
Blockchain is based on a single source of truth, and mandates a standardized approach to the collection and distribution of information that populates the ledger and drives decision making. Consistency and transparency are an integral part of this approach. The efforts of the R3 Consortium demonstrate financial institutions have firmly planted a stake in the ground, and intend to identify ways to monetize this new technology.
Are you prepared? Standards implementation is a critical step to prepare for this new technology that will no doubt change the way business is conducted globally.
The potential impact of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, blockchain and others on our industry cannot be ignored. Other industries including financial services have made firm and funded commitments to explore how these technologies can be implemented in their business, with collaborations formed that have already completed a variety of pilot projects.
There is an inherent danger in doing nothing to prepare for the changes ahead. Business plans need to include initiatives that address these emerging technologies and explores their impact and potential application to the real estate industry. It’s time for a collaborative and proactive approach that ensures these emerging technologies can be harnessed to best meet the needs of the industry. The stakes are high. Standards, effective data governance and emerging technologies are forever intertwined as we move forward to explore the possibilities.
Blockchain is just one of the CRE Tech 5.0 topics that will be presented by thought leaders at Realcomm | IBcon 2017 on June 14-15 in San Diego.
This Week’s Sponsor
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Realcomm has been presenting the "Digie" Award (short for Commercial Real Estate Digital Innovation Awards) since 1999.
The purpose of the Digie Award is to recognize those companies, real estate projects, technologies and people that have gone above and beyond to positively impact our industry through the use of technology, automation and innovation!
In 2012, we created separate award categories for Realcomm and IBcon to more clearly address the difference between automating real estate business processes and creating intelligent building systems, buildings, portfolios and cities.
For more information on award categories and/or to nominate an outstanding individual, project or organization, visit:
Realcomm Digie Awards
IBcon Digie Awards
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
CORPORATE REAL ESTATE & Technology – The Importance of Developing a STRATEGY - 10/24/2019
The Corporate Real Estate industry has quickly gone from constantly resizing the corporate real estate portfolio based on the everchanging business needs of the corporation, to having to understand and deal with a myriad of issues relating to technology, automation and innovation. Not only do CRE professionals need to understand things such as IWMS, intelligent buildings, the smart workplace, AI, VR/AR and other emerging technologies, they also need to understand the fundamental shift on how we use space. Technology which is enabling mobility has shifted the landscape. This webinar will feature some of the most innovative professionals discussing the importance of developing a comprehensive Corporate Real Estate portfolio strategy around the concept of Digital Transformation.
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.
Chuck Niswonger has over 30 years of successful leadership experience in technology-related roles that range from operating his own consulting company (www.nicenets.com) to directing the IT strategy of a real estate investment management firm to manufacturing and technology-enabled education. Chuck has also been the chair of the Realcomm Investment Management (IM) Advisory Council for the last ten years, managing content selection for the conference educational sessions, IM forums, workshops and webinars.
Emmanuel Daniel is responsible for building and delivering the Digital Transformation strategy for campuses across Microsoft and leads a global multidisciplinary team of architects and experience designers. He builds experiences that merge technology with the built environment, leading to the formation of spaces that respond to the needs of its users. He is also accountable for identifying, building and implementing the next generation of products that will make smarter and sustainable buildings.
Paul Maximuk is the Product Owner as well as a technical SME at Ford Land, leading all BMS and controls integrations globally. He has over 30 years of experience in the industry managing multiple types of energy systems and specializing in strategic smart building implementation and management. Paul’s expertise in the built environment spans real estate assets from large industrial facilities to Class A office buildings.
Ronna Davis has been in the networking and telecommunication industry for 23 years. She has been with CommScope for over 13 years and has held positions in sales, channel and product line management. She is currently on CommScope’s Strategy and Technology Team for Buildings and Campuses. Previous to CommScope she worked in the design and construction of telecommunications networks for eight years and in wholesale distribution for two years. She studied marketing and is a LEED Green Associate.
Ron Victor is a Silicon Valley based technology entrepreneur with 20 years of experience and expertise launching new ventures at start-ups and fortune 1000 technology companies. To-date he has enabled raising more than $30Million in start-up capital for multiple start-ups in silicon-valley. Ron has founded and led three companies to-date with successful exits. His latest venture is IoTium Inc. – a Silicon Valley start-up that provides a secure, cloud-managed, easy-to-deploy software defined network infrastructure for all IoT verticals.
Marc is a pioneer in leading the Intelligent/Smart Buildings and M2M movements pushing the industry forward and has contributed to transforming and changing the Intelligent Buildings and M2M (now IoT) industries. As Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Lynxspring Marc leads corporate and product marketing, strategy, brand management, public relations and communications that support the company’s strategic and growth initiatives.
Brent Boekestein is the CEO of Vintra, Inc., a leading video analytics company from Silicon Valley that uses artificial intelligence to transform any video surveillance into actionable and tailored intelligence. Forward-thinking enterprises and public safety organizations like Sacramento City, NYC DOI, Sacramento County, and more use Vintra’s solutions to organize, analyze, and derive critical insights from overwhelming amounts of stored and live video.