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Are you confused about this new technology called blockchain? Do you spend hours wondering how is this chain created and why is it called blockchain technology? Why is it so special? What all industries are using it or can use it? If the answers to any of the above questions is yes, then worry not and keep reading. We will start with what is blockchain? And why is it making waves in the world of technology. Let's start with the definitions of blockchain for both layman and technocrats. In layman's language – Blockchain is nothing but an ever-growing secure, shared record-keeping system in which each user of the data holds a copy of the records, which can only be updated if all parties involved in a transaction agree to update. Now let's see what the same thing means in technical language – Technical definition: Blockchain in technical terms is a peer-to-peer, distributed ledger that is cryptographically secure, append-only, immutable and updateable only via consensus among peers. Too technical for you to understand? Worry not – it means the same thing as defined in layman language, but since it is for technocrats it has more technical terms. If you are still…
In 2009, a mysterious person (or persons) named Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper that introduced the world to bitcoin-a digital payment system that eliminated the need for financial institutions. For the cryptocurrency to work, transactions would need to be recorded in a database known as the blockchain. In 2011, the first bitcoin "bubble" took place when a single coin reached a value of $31.00. In December of 2017, the value of a bitcoin reached a high of over $19,000.00, indicating the success of blockchain technology's first primary use case and opening the door to further innovation. This presents an opportunity in the commercial real estate space. Historically known to resist change, a new generation of startups are building applications on top of the blockchain that will disrupt the industry and force us to rethink the concept of value.     WHAT IS A BLOCKCHAIN? THE SIMPLE VERSION   Steve Weikal is Head of Industry Relations at the MIT Center for Real Estate. He also lectures and conducts research on innovative new technology and business models that disrupt the traditional ways of developing, transacting and managing real estate. Weikal describes the blockchain as a trusted, general ledger. "In a building, all the information (mortgage documents,…
Built by Berlin-based startup Quorum Control, Tupelo brings benefits of blockchain technology to the mainstream in the form of custom-built chain trees for ownership, with backing from groundbreaking Silicon Valley investment firm Initialized Capital. BERLIN (November 1, 2018) - Tupelo, the first ownership-based distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, launched its TestNet today, opening a new, faster pathway for blockchain-like technology to be utilized in real-world applications. The platform is owned and operated by Quorum Control, a six-person startup of dedicated builders focused on driving DLT adoption. To accomplish its goal, Quorum Control sought and secured traditional equity investment from experienced and successful venture capital firms instead of undertaking  an initial coin offering (ICO) for funding. Quorum Control is committed to the development, testing and refinement of a new application of DLT that contains many characteristics of blockchains but includes a more efficient consensus algorithm. When Tupelo has been proven effective as a tool for real-world business applications--like real estate title insurance transfer and supply chain transparency--Quorum Control will undertake an ICO. Backed by Experienced and Proven VCs Led by Initialized Capital San Francisco-based Initialized Capital led Quorum Control's $2.9 million funding round, bringing well-established and influential Silicon Valley resources to…
I once again participated excellent Propteq: Europe event in London, which brings together a number of prop tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, investors and people from the industry in general. There was a number of well-run theme sessions, two of which I co-hosted. Having spent the day in the midst of exchanging ideas and discussing emerging topics, two of the things stood out: AI and blockchain. Even though arguably much hyped, these two will most likely have the most profound impact on the real estate industry than anything else before – or ok… maybe except for the electricity. What do I base my conclusions upon? I think AI is in its infancy but there are already working adaptations of machine learning. One can easily think repetitive transactions of similar character in great quantity, like mortgage applications, to be handled by an algorithm – and BTW, one of the biggest banks in the Nordics is already exploring of moving its mortgage application process into an AI assisted process, where the offer could be generated by AI and given automatically to the customer. Same goes for customer / service requests from a building, where an algorithm can combine a lot of data from building automation…
Yet another MIPIM is over. Thank you for the interesting discussions about real estate and proptech's new twists and turns – and of course huge thanks for the organisers for making it all happen! You might have heard my thoughts and comments from the casting videos I made at MIPIM – but to wrap it all up, here's my small recap of what went down in Cannes this year. Probably many participants noticed during the first days that technology has noticeably matured: more day-to-day activities take place and substantial companies like Schneider and Siemens are entering the industry. MIPIM Innovation Forum proved that real estate is now more or less about energy savings, smart buildings and IoT. Even though they were emphasized at the event, I still think they're not really on top of the game for the time being. I think everyone has heard about this and is probably talking about it – blockchain. The subject we all know, was of course highly discussed at MIPIM. There's no doubt that it will have a major impact on the development of real estate and property technology industries. One thing that really surprised me at MIPIM PropTech startup competition was the fact that…
Rare and exclusive conversation with Brad Greiwe, Co-Founder, Fifth Wall and Josh Stein, CEO, Harbor about Stein's pioneering new startup that is destined to be one of the leading platforms for blockchain technology in the real estate industry. New York, NY (May 8, 2018) -- CREtech (cretech.com), the leading event, content and connectivity platform for the commercial real estate industry, has announced that Fifth Wall's Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Brad Greiwe and Harbor's CEO, Josh Stein, will be the Keynote Speakers for CREtech San Francisco  on June 21. Fifth Wall is an investor in Harbor, a blockchain technology company that aims to revolutionize the world's largest capital market with innovation in crypto-securities compliance. Brad is currently the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Fifth Wall. Fifth Wall Ventures is the largest venture capital firm focused on technology solutions for the Built World. Fifth Wall is connecting the world's largest owners and operators of real estate with the entrepreneurs and innovators redefining how the world interacts with its physical environment. With $250M in assets under management, Fifth Wall is backed by CBRE, Lennar, Hines, Equity Residential, Prologis, Macerich, Host Hotels, and Lowe's Home Improvement. Fifth Wall invests in businesses from all sectors…
There's a lot of talk about the 4th industrial revolution and how we are moving towards the fusion of technology and people. It seems like everyone is talking about robotics, artificial intelligence, the blockchain, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles. A quick Google of "Real Estate technology" reveals that, far from being a laggard, as it is often presented, the Real Estate industry is enthusiastically adopting technology to improve how it works. You only need to look at the activity in the PropTech space, and how this is updating the way our industry does things, to realize the opportunity that already exists. However, with all the buzz it's easy to get overwhelmed, so I'd like to focus on a single thing you can do today: save money through process automation. And specifically, through robotic process automation (RPA) delivered on an as a service basis: the Robots as a Service. Staffing costs -- both salary and other ancillary costs -- form a huge part of a company's monthly operational costs. But unfortunately, companies often don't get the maximum value out of all their employees. A recent YouGov survey showed that more than nine out…
At the CRETech Conference last week, Brad Griewe of Fifth Wall Ventures and Josh Stein of Harbor discussed the three main values of a fractional ownership of real estate as being: Liquidation Premium Opportunity for Foreign Investment in US Real Estate Real Estate As The Best Way to Generate Wealth While the three items can provide value to existing real estate owners, the tokenization of real estate is bad for retail investors and makes real estate even less accessible for wealth generation. Liquidation Premium The liquidation of an asset from a private asset to a public asset is a one-time event. Once it is public, the shares of the asset have already had the price of the liquidation premium priced in. Similar to a stock IPO, once the stock is public, a retail investor does not gain any advantage in value from the liquidation premium. Additionally, private investors would need to compete with public investors to acquire real estate assets. This opposition will make it harder for private investors to purchase properties because, while they plan to keep the asset private, public investors plan to generate value by liquidating the property. Opportunity for Foreign Investment in US Real Estate Much…
AnySizeDeals recently announced venture capitalist and billionaire Tim Draper will speak at the upcoming 2018 #InnovateCRE conference in New York. The conference, which will be held on September 12, focuses on the convergence of real estate and technology.  Draper will share his insights on Blockchain and Crytocurrencies, Startup Investing and his "Cal 3" initiative to separate California into three states. Draper has invested in numerous companies including Redfin, Tesla, SpaceX, Skype and Coinbase. Continue reading here