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posted by martyb on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the evil-"plot" dept.

The MIT Center for Real Estate resumed its cutting-edge "Real Disruption" series last week with an examination of blockchain technology and its applications to the real estate industry, specifically the impact it will have on the current title recording system. ...

"I don't know if society is ready, but it's coming. We are still at the forefront of all this," said panelist Christian Saucier, chief technology officer for Ubitquity, a startup developing a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) blockchain platform for securely recording,tracking and transferring deeds. "These technologies have not yet made an impact on the real estate space – but they're about to."

I get nervous when I hear phrases like "unlocking liquidity" and "securitized" — these two paragraphs appear near the end of the article:

Although panelists agreed that despite its inherent flaws, the current titling system works reasonably well (especially in the U.S.), Doney named five "friction points" that blockchain could improve and "utterly transform the way that it's been done over the next 20 to 30 years,' citing the aforementioned changes in titling; the use of smart contracts (computer protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the performance of a contract,); unlocking liquidity in real estate assets (including leases); more effective crowdsourcing, and innovative "user ship" models that will allow for a freer exchange of value.

Doney's firm, Securrency, is a FinTech platform that monetizes excess capacity in assets such as commercial real estate leases. "What we have in commercial real estate right now is very illiquid major deals, where you can't break apart, for example, the individual income streams associated with commercial leases and monetize those income streams," he states. But through the use of smart contracts, leases can be risk-scored, securitized, and then sold into liquid markets – something that his firm is pioneering.

Last decade it was luring suckers into mortgages and investing in worthless derivatives. Will next decade see the suckers buying into mutual funds composed of fractional ownership of real estate... with values hyped into the next bubble? This way you aren't limited to buying and flipping houses (leaving the last owner in the lurch when the music stops) — now modest investors can play in Trump's league?

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Max Hyre on Sunday November 06 2016, @01:04AM

    by Max Hyre (3427) <{maxhyre} {at} {}> on Sunday November 06 2016, @01:04AM (#422964)
        How do you know what's stored is what you agreed to? At least paper is harder to forge than bits. I've started refusing to sign the little screens that the operator claims document my agreement to HIPAA rules, or to permit assorted procedures. How do I know what it's really being applied to? Blockchains supposedly ensure validity of digital records, but unless I can verify myself what said record is, and that my (unforgeable) permission is (unforgeably) attached to that verified record, I can't see it.
        Sounds like a job for GPG signatures, or equivalent. Until then, I'll sit down with the other person involved in the transfer, and apply pen to paper. Yes it can be forged, but it's not generally worth miscreants' time to do them onesie-twosie, and forging requires an inside accomplice in at least one position.
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