Club MeetingLondon, September 27th
Real estate and the Blockchain
Productivity booster or transformational force?
Do real estate professionals agree that the blockchain is on the verge of becoming the transactional norm? GRI Club members were joined by a panel of blockchain experts on 27th September in London to examine such market sentiments in a lively, collegial debate.
The members developed their understanding of what many believe could be the catalyst behind a potential paradigm shift in the way in which real estate is transacted.
A quick survey of the room during the initial proceedings revealed quite the spread in the level of knowledge regarding blockchain. The initial stage of the discussion focused on how blockchain technology might increase liquidity via the “tokenisation” of assets and funds. Whilst most appeared supportive of the added flexibility and precision afforded by tokenisation, this guarantee of liquidity was met with some skepticism, especially on behalf of investors with experience in vehicles such as REITs.
The conversation subsequently turned to the issue of security. Who ensures the validity of the transactions, and what if someone were to hack the blockchain? The experts elaborated on the technology’s security measures and the virtual incorruptibility of the transactions and information recorded therein. Members seemed reassured as one guest surmised the blockchain as “a big spreadsheet in the sky” that simply can’t be tampered with.
Security aside, some see the government’s reluctance to embrace blockchain as a barrier to mainstream adoption of the technology; it was encouraging to hear examples of the Swedish and Maltese governments’ implementation of the blockchain, which could potentially open the door to other territories to follow suit.
The closing stages of the discussion settled around the concept of disintermediation of brokers, agents, etc. and its impact on the current state of the industry. Most agreed that blockchain could indeed lead to drastically reduced timeframes for transactions and costs associated with third party involvement. And yet, Some questions on the ramifications for due diligence procedures and liability remained along with skepticism as to whether a truly “trustless” environment could feasibly be manufactured in the real estate market.
Based on the final sentiments of most members, the attitude towards blockchain and its application in real estate is generally positive. Whether the real estate market will unanimously place their trust in the technology in the very near future remains to be seen, but interest in the blockchain amongst members seems to be increasing exponentially, and support of the technology as it applies to real estate is certainly more prevalent than in recent months.
Having founded 5 companies with 4 exits on 3 continents, Jamy sees the enormous potential blockchain provides to 'reimagine' business. With an eye on the future Consumer, Jamy wants to solve the problems of everyday usage for the everyday person. The BDXAlliance uses blockchain to connect businesses & consumers. In his own words, Jamy believes that "Blockchain continues to revolutionize Fintech and traditional asset classes to include everything from tokenized hedge funds to fractional real estate. Blockchain is proving to be a game changer for any company that wishes to broaden their base of investors globally with exciting new opportunities. In this session you can hear about real-world examples of real companies, with real customers and impressive revenue who are using blockchain to reimagine business."
Neil Singer has worked in the property industry for more than 25 years. He set up Singer Vielle, a niche investment agency, over 20 years ago which in more recent years has adopted a highly technologically-driven approach to the marketing of property. More recently he has developed the clicktopurchase® platform which uniquely provides the facility for a legally binding exchange of contracts to be conducted online as part of the sales process, now having a £200m track record. In 2017, the clicktopurchase® platform commenced recording the online purchase contract and transactional activity using Blockchain technology, the first business worldwide to do so.
Brigitte Luginbühl is a real estate expert with more than 10 years of a strong track record in Real Estate Corporate Finance and real estate M&A. She has been with the global market leader Jones Lang LaSalle in Switzerland and London. She managed numerous large-scale and complex real estate transactions with a volume of >CHF 1bn in total and was project leader of many valuation projects including recurring large portfolio valuations with a volume of >CHF 9bn annually. She is the youngest female member of Efficiency Club. She holds BA and MA in Economics Business Administration from University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Thursday, September 27th
08:30 - 09:00 Arrival
09:00 - 10:00 Discussion
10:00 - 10:30 Departing Refreshments
VenueW Hotel Leicester Square, 10 Wardour St, London W1D 6QF
Leicester Square, 10 Wardour St, London W1D 6QF
Kirsty has seven year’s experience in conference production globally. Her previous role included Conference Producer for RICS, fostering events in Corporate Real Estate, Residential, Industrial and Regional Investments across UK, Middle East and Europe. Kirsty is passionate about industrial and logistics, residential alternatives, distressed Investing, as well as connecting investors and developers with focused discussions in her core markets of the UK and Europe.