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By Tracey C. Velt, publisher

Before one understands how companies are using the blockchain, one has to
understand what it is. Originally developed as a secure way to trade Bitcoin and
other cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, according to Wikipedia, is a growing list of
records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each
block typically contains a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains
are inherently resistant to modification of the data.

Why is it Important?

What does that mean to you? According to Joel Leslie, a partner at Propify, a
blockchain-based real estate marketing solution, “Brokers play an important role
in the property process, specifically to the buyer. What the blockchain will do is
provide visibility and transparency to the process. Real estate professionals and
brokers will be able to find out exactly what is happening to a property at any
given point in time. The blockchain can vouch for the trust of the data.”
Propify promotes property content via a non-portal model. The platform provides
transparency across the entire property listing process, facilitating the safe and
secure marketing of real estate and the secure communication between the
consumer, agent and peers.

Data Quality

The key is that it’s a protocol-first technology, meaning that all the data is
encrypted and can’t be changed or altered. So, once it’s in the blockchain (good
or bad), it’s quality information. “The way our system works is that we have two
blockchains working in tandem—one for the broker and one for the property
asset. We match those together throughout the system, and it outputs data in the
most accurate form possible. It’s 100 percent qualified, and anyone can look at
the data and each block (which represents a property’s change) and see where
the information came from,” says Leslie.

Another product, ShelterZoom is also using blockchain technology to ensure the
quality of its data. Built to be Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) data
dictionary-compliant, ShelterZoom refines and streamlines the process of making
real estate offers, thereby reducing paperwork and bringing greater openness to
what has traditionally been a fragmented and opaque process. The complete
ShelterZoom Online Offer and Acceptance platform includes a dashboard, the
Offer NOW widget and a mobile app (available on iTunes and Google Play) that
enables buyers and buyer agents to instantly submit offers from online real estate
listings with just a few clicks or screen taps.
According to Sergey Fradkov, ShelterZoom technical advisor and General Partner
of Startup Accelerator iDealMachine, “We’ll see rapid adoption of blockchain
technology by marketplaces, organizations and entire industries. Blockchain and
related cryptocurrency implementations will enable new business models and
streamline interactions between participants. They will also enable new
participants to quickly establish themselves in the industry segments and create
many new business opportunities.”
Time will tell if this technology will bring about a slew of new disrupters and
innovative marketing companies, but it will, no doubt, impact everything from
title search and appraisal to digital marketing and the mortgage qualification