I Wanted to Understand Blockchain Better, So I Went to the One Person Who I Know Isn’t Afraid to Tell it Like it is….
Duke Friggen Long!
That’s kinda how we talk in Jersey :) We use words like “friggen.” And speaking of words and telling like it is, my friend Duke Long has never been one to shy away from saying what’s on his mind. And in my opinion, few people understand the world of commercial real estate and tech better than Duke. Literally, I think he was the first person I met in 2011 when I entered the commercial real estate tech space and we became fast friends and stayed connected ever since.
While Duke clearly has strong opinions about A LOT of things, when it comes to tech, I would consider him among the most informed and insightful people in the space. His opinions not only have been formed from a lifetime in the space as a leading broker, but also because he TALKS to everyone and he READS everything. He is a one-man-cretech-friggen encyclopedia!
Duke is also an investor in the space and an advisor to many as well.
One of the things he has written about, talked about, warned about, and dropped the most F bombs about (maybe other than Dark Star), is blockchain. And there probably isn’t a more misunderstood technology platform than blockchain! So, to help shed some light on this topic, I went to the man, the myth, the legend himself, to get some clarity on THE blockchain.
Here are some of the excerpts from our conversation...
Michael Beckerman: As the guy who has written about, talked about, and invested in blockchain more than anyone in the commercial real estate tech space, why are you so excited about blockchain’s potential?
Duke Long: Look, blockchain is not and will not be as far-reaching as some may think. It will help with securing data and that is a key element for commercial real estate. What it will also do is shrink time and create transactional efficiencies. Shrinking time and efficient transactions do what? Enable more market velocity.
MB: How would you describe blockchain to someone who just flew in from mars?
DL: It's just a way to verify the ownership of something digital and that simple technology will replace the entire infrastructure of the internet as we know it today.
MB: In what areas of the commercial real estate business will blockchain impact first?
DL: Ok, I will bite, tile and land registry. Show me the actual applications working right now today? The closest is in Dubai and they are just transferring data to a private node or in simpler terms another form of database. So, we have a long way yet to go.
MB: Who do you see in the commercial real estate space as actually emerging as the earliest adopters?
DL: Whoever starts to own the entire transaction.
MB: What will a commercial real estate transaction look like in the future when blockchain does finally become integrated into the sector?
DL: Pure speed. What now takes 30-60-90 days will take just seconds. Don't think so? RETIRE NOW! I did mention velocity and time, did I not?
MB: What other industries do you think will embrace the blockchain or are already?
DL: Healthcare, cybersecurity, financial transactions and payments, data storage.
MB: Does it make you drop more F-bombs than usual when you hear people think blockchain and cryptocurrency are the same thing?
DL: Yes, and that's the reason people should pay more attention to the functionality and uses of blockchain and less about who's trying to use bitcoin to buy a house. Two totality different worlds.
MB: Shameless self plug time...who should we pay attention to in the blockchain space?
DL: Me. Oh, you want specific companies? That's a trillion dollar question, and I'm working on it.
MB: How long till blockchain really starts to get traction in commercial real estate?
DL: 2 years from now it will start, 5 years from now it will start to change everything. 10 years from now, we might not even remember how was done.
About Duke Long:
Duke Long is the Broker/Owner of The Duke Long Agency and the creator and author of the Duke Long Blog. He has delivered numerous presentations, panel discussions, and moderated panels on the subjects of online commercial real estate technology, communication, marketing, branding, data, content creation and digital media.