The development of the blockchain technology that undergirds bitcoin is expected to impact major sectors of the economy, few more important than real estate. Blockchain’s potential for reducing friction in transactions and automating record-keeping tasks has major implications for the brokers and agents, local governments, investors and attorneys involved in both commercial and residential real estate.

The technology could make for easier and more accurate deed transfers, improved ease and transparency in investing, even more accurate and up-to-the-minute MLS (multiple listing service) listings. “There’s a lot of hype surrounding that particular asset type,” says Dan Nossa, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC’s Houston office, who works extensively with blockchain technology companies.

Nossa and Kristian White, managing member of the firm’s Southpointe office in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, focused on energy, real estate, banking and commercial transactions, discussed the potential impact of blockchain technology on the real estate industry. Here are highlights from that conversation.

Asset-based tokens and real estate Simply put, blockchain technology amounts to a ledger in which every transaction is immediately, automatically, and permanently recorded and can be seen by other users of that blockchain. So far, its most prominent use has been to record the movements of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency tokens from one person to another in cyberspace.

But proponents see applications that go far beyond cryptocurrency, and into the real world. The impact of blockchain will be similar to the impact of the Internet “in that it will revolutionize how business is transacted,” says White. Read more from…

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