How blockchain could change the way you buy your next house

How blockchain could change the way you buy your next house

Slashing the cost of real estate conveyancing is just one of the ways blockchain technology will transform commerce and affect our daily lives. Professor Tom Smith, Head of Macquarie’s Department of Applied Finance, explains.

When you buy a house, you pay a solicitor to verify the property’s ownership and check for outstanding loans or other title restrictions. But what if this information was available to you instantly and was 100 per cent accurate? This is just one example of what blockchain technology promises.

Blockchain simplifed

A blockchain is like a global database that runs on millions of computers and holds a chain of historical records. Each computer has a real-time version of this digital ledger, so there is no single master copy – and therefore no security weak point. It’s ‘open source’, meaning all participants can see everything that is going on, and it doesn’t need a central authority, like a bank, to verify and conduct transactions (one of the earliest blockchains was built to support the cryptocurrency Bitcoin).

How will it change the world?

While the terms ‘fintech’ (financial technology) and blockchain sound excitingly futuristic, blockchain isn’t a particularly sexy technology. Things will change mainly behind the scenes – like when computer automation replaced manual bookkeeping and office filing cabinets. It could revolutionise the music industry by removing intermediaries like record companies and streaming services, putting the artists in full conrol of the distribution of their music.

The potential business applications are endless, because almost any structured information can be stored in a blockchain.

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Source: How blockchain could change the way you buy your next house | The Lighthouse