We have been telling you about blockchain on Immo2 for a few years. We can also say it with pride, we talked about it before it was cool. We have covered many topics on these topics. Only now, now that it is fashionable, things are running fast. In the last few months, we’ve seen a lot of new things, innovations, and new terms to grapple with. So much so that it is easy to lose track. Therefore, I suggest that we review all these elements and that we ask ourselves a single question: why real estate professionals?
Blockchain: a shared ledger that makes the need for trust obsolete
Blockchain is a huge ledger shared among its users. A chain of blocks is made up of several blocks of information that will be produced by users called “minors”. This activity is called mining. Simply put: the miner puts the computing power of his computer at the disposal of the blockchain. This power will be used to write information to a block and ensure that the information is reliable.
Each block is linked to the next and previous blocks. Therefore, the information contained in one block is linked to the other blocks in the blockchains and is therefore tamper-proof. Because it would be necessary to modify not a block, but millions to be able to defraud.
Furthermore, all transactions that take place on the blockchain are accessible and visible to everyone. Then an attempted fraud would be detected immediately.
I won’t go into technical details; First of all, because this is not the place; So why might I say something stupid. Just remember that the blocks are connected to each other and that the information is shared by millions of users. It is this multiplicity that makes the blockchain unforgeable. And the blockchain makes the need for trust between users unnecessary.
Blockchain and real estate: a synergy that makes sense
Now, if we visualize the blockchain as a ledger, we immediately see applications for real estate. Imagine: cadastral records that cannot be falsified and that can be updated automatically.
We can also imagine using blockchain to validate the files and documents of the stakeholders of a transaction. No need for verification and validation of banking institutions.
Similarly, with blockchain being an open access ledger, there are no more issues related to the source of funds for a transaction. We can track the course of any cryptocurrency since it was “mined”.
If we leave the transaction to take an interest in the building: the blockchain to keep track of the different arrangements, to store the building’s digital diary, to register the AG of the cooperative, to record the various interventions and relationships with insurance. ..
Cryptocurrencies: between currencies and tools
Cryptocurrencies are assets linked to the blockchain. It is in particular thanks to the cryptocurrency of the blockchain that we will reward minors for making their computing power available (and therefore their energy expenditure, their expenditure of time, etc.).
It should be understood that there may be several different blockchains. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain, the Ethereum blockchain, and the Elrond blockchain. They all exist, they are the three information exchange records and all three give rise to cryptocurrencies.
So how can a cryptocurrency be valuable? Well, first of all there is the expenditure of time and energy required to mine a block that can be counted. Then there is the value produced by the company or infrastructure that issues that cryptocurrency. If no one were to use the Bitcoin blockchain to record transactions … well, the value of Bitcoin would go down (because yes, a company can generate a cryptocurrency, then we will talk about Token and we can bring that back to the equity participation model). .).
So, as with any coin, the value of a coin is what its users want to give it. One euro is worth one euro because we accept it. Because people are willing to exchange goods worth one euro for their euro (it has been a long time since the price of currencies is no longer indexed to the gold reserves of the states).
Well, Bitcoin is the same. It’s worth more than $ 50,000, because people are willing to trade it for that price.
Cryptocurrencies and real estate: traceability, security and opportunities!
So what is the interest of cryptocurrencies for real estate? Well, I would say that there are many interests, but few are really revolutionary.
The advantage of a cryptocurrency is its traceability: I can track any crypto since its creation … and without having to do any research work. Everything is entered into the blockchain registry, a registry visible to all, with free access.
Therefore, for real estate professionals, verifying the source of an acquirer’s funds will be extremely simple when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Second point in favor of these virtual currencies: decentralized, fast and frictionless transactions … at least, as long as we are on the correct blockchain. In fact, each infrastructure has its specificities and, as a professional, you may need to advise your clients on the blockchain they should use for a particular transaction.
Then there is tokenization, the act of converting real estate into tokens. In particular to allow multiple investments. I am not going to dwell on this, because in itself there is nothing revolutionary. In short, we take the principle of SCI or real estate … but on blockchain.
The metaverse: a new world for the Christophe Collombs of the 21st century
The metaverse is an old concept, but it received a media resurgence after the Mark Zuckerberg announcements. Defining the metaverse can be tricky, but we’ll try it anyway.
The metaverse is often represented as a virtual world, accessible in virtual reality. This representation is practical, because it makes a visual impact. But the downside to this representation … is that it is false. It’s useful for bouncing off news like multi-million dollar sales in the Metaverse, but you lose what the Metaverse actually is.
The metaverse is simply an evolution in our relationship with the value we place on virtual elements. Today we buy books in dematerialized format, we buy movies, we pay access rights to virtual content (Spotify, Netflix) … Could you say that your Netflix subscription has no value? Of course not, it has the value you pay to access it. The same happens with your book on your e-reader, with your video game in dematerialized format, with your music album purchased on iTunes, etc.
However, a few years ago it seemed totally unrealistic to give the same value to virtual content as to tangible content. Today, the cards are shuffled. And even more so with the new generation, who have been used to giving value to virtual objects all their lives.
The representation of a 3D world accessible through a virtual reality headset bothers me, because it forces the opposition between “real world” and “metaverse”, while it is more about spaces that will evolve in parallel and in synergy.
Crypto real estate agents for crypto properties in the metaverse?
Now that we’ve clearly explained what the metaverse is and where it finds its value, let’s get back to real estate. How will real estate transform the metaverse or how will real estate transform the metaverse?
Well the metaverse already deals with real world property codes. The different spaces that exist in the metaverse are delimited. With plots that belong to the owners, who can rent, buy, resell, build on these plots.
So the first thing we can imagine: the arrival of dedicated real estate agents. In addition, there are already marketplaces where land is sold … real estate portals of the Metaverso therefore and we can already see that some ads are better written and are more attractive than others.
Then there is the possible advertising in these virtual worlds. Yes, everyone talks about the sale of virtual land… but we don’t think enough about the possible synergies between communication in the metaverse and communication in the real world. A completely new space means new avenues of visibility. And maybe tomorrow you will post your ads on Metaverse Seloger!
NFT: the title deeds of the future
If there’s another term we’ve been dwelling on over the past few months, it’s “NFT.” For “Non-fungible Token” or “Non-fungible Token” in the language of Molière. If I have to explain what NFTs are, I have to quickly explain the concept of “fungibility”.
Expendable, not expendable… What does all this mean?
Something fungible is something that can be replaced by an equivalent without any consequence.
If you have a euro coin and I exchange it for another euro coin, don’t you mind that? Well that’s because the coins are considered fungible. Picky eaters may argue that, thanks to serial numbers, one coin is not the same as another. But in fact, for all people, the parts are fungible assets (in fact, if we are demanding, nothing is inherently fungible, we have accepted as a society to make fungible or not certain elements).
On the other hand, I take an apartment, I exchange it for another … there is little chance that we are in a totally equivalent exchange. The location of the apartment alone changes our relationship with it. Therefore, the buildings are not fungible.
So everything on the Internet is fungible. After all, if I take an image from a site, I only have to copy and paste to have the same image on my hard drive. The same thing happens with a movie, with music, with an electronic book …
So for a digital title deed? How can I be sure I have the original? How can I be sure it is not a copy? Whether I am buying a piece of art or real estate, how can I be sure that the documents you send me are correct? What is not a simple copy and paste? Well, this is where NFTs come in …
But what exactly is an NFT?
NFTs are actually authentication certificates that make virtual items non-fungible. And that’s it. They are simply certificates of authenticity that are registered on the blockchain.
If you are going to buy a work of art tomorrow, the gallery will give you a certificate of authenticity. You trust the gallery and you know that the work is original. With NFT, you don’t even have to trust the gallery. It is tamper-proof and all information and transactions are freely stored on the blockchain.
NFT and real estate: an essential synergy?
Well, if NFTs are certificates of authenticity, they can come into play in many real estate uses.
For example, to certify a property deed or even cadastral records. To certify the authenticity of the documents that are delivered to the notaries … who will then be experts in verification on blockchain platforms. Also, we could write a full article on blockchain and notaries (yes, that’s a joke for a future article).
For shared investments, in SCI / SCPI or through real estate crowdfunding, we can resell and buy back shares without having to check if the seller really owns the shares that he is selling to me.
The same occurs with reform invoices, electronic signatures, ALUR law training certificates, etc. Ultimately, any document that requires verification of its authenticity can be accompanied by an NFT.
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