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First US Real Estate Transaction in Blockchain: What's Next?

Vermont is headed towards blockchain recording of real estate transactions. Other states will follow.

Stories have been circulating about Vermont testing blockchain for recording real estate transactions.

A contact at Propy informs me that the city of South Burlington, Vermont, just became a global blockchain leader by locking in the first US real estate deed completely on blockchain.

Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy said, "This is only the beginning. With this transaction, we've broken first ground in putting the $217 trillion real estate market on the blockchain. We're starting with Ukraine, but over the coming year we plan to facilitate real estate transactions with the use of PRO tokens in California, Vermont, and Dubai."

Business Insider posted this disclaimer "Propy is the source of this content."

I make the same disclaimer.

My contact says "This first deal makes it much easier for the rest of the 49 states to iterate the process. In fact, Arizona and Colorado are next."

I have some questions and will post an addendum when I have answers.

Implications

First, this is not unexpected. I have many times commented that blockchain is perfect for real estate transactions. Real estate is low-volume, high-value. Buying candy bars on blockchain is not practical. Blockchain does not scale.

Second. This does not change my attitude towards cryptos. At some point everything will be crypto, but it will be government-sponsored and it will not be Bitcoin nor Ethereum.

Finally, and most importantly, entire chains of business will vanish.

Think of the business of title insurance. Poof!

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Haha. Actually, in my case, the title insurance worked. I was able to buy the land a second time, and all my costs were covered, so I was made whole. On the other hand, I don't know of anyone else who ever collected anything off of a title insurance policy, so the cost of them is remarkably high. Rather than saying Title Insurance will vanish as a result of this, I would rather guess it will remain, but the price will drop substantially.

As the ramshackle US economy careens headlong into the abyss, crypto currencies are starting to look promising. We’re already pretending to work, Bitcoin will help TPTB to pretend to pay us.

One topic I've never seen discussed is how a blockchain ages, in particular with smart contracts. Real Estate lasts forever. As the smart contracts evolve, for instance when specific plat information is added to avoid duplicate titles, how does the encrypted, unmutable transaction the person in the story entered into get modified with the new information? How do you fix a mistake in a smart contract? The docs for our current house had the correct property location but gave a mailing address that transposed the house number. That got propagated to the property tax department who mailed reminders to that location until we became responsible for paying the taxes and I got the mailing address corrected. For a time there will continue to be a paper trail of RE docs and the processes for recording documents on paper will continue, like other IT projects(think accounts receivable, accounts payable,) eventually that will be abandoned or at least forgotten by those involved in RE transaction (eventually maybe nobody but the two parties.) I hope the system is well engineered with geographic dispersion. Even if the primary system is destroyed in a hurricane or nuclear exchange, property ownership records need to be maintained for hundreds if not thousands of years.

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Are there any public companies that capitalize on providing the technology or capitalize on using blockchain

Zerohedge keeps talking up Bitcoin like a car salesman. It’s like talking up the Edsel because gasoline is useful.

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