A NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

Original article written by Leon Fear for Business Leader as featured on their website on 30th July 2018. To view the original, please click here.

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It doesn’t seem that long ago when the idea of having a truly portable computer seemed some way off, and in fact it has only been eight years since the first iPad came out but a lot has changed in that time!

I expect the next eight years will see the continuing rapid pace of technology changing all around us and it how this might affect business in general, and in particular the property industry that will be interesting to see unravel.

There have already been a few properties sold in various parts of the world using the crypto currency, Bitcoin, but whether this becomes mainstream is yet to be determined. If the Bank of England adopt their own crypto coin then perhaps this will fundamentally change the main banking sector, but until then there is much debate about whether currencies such as Bitcoin have longevity.

From my perspective, whilst I know people who have made money buying crypto currencies, it can only be pure speculation as in my view there is no intrinsic value. Investment is where there is an underlying value (whatever that may be) and speculation is where there isn’t. If the value of a property falls it is still a property, with a use! If the value of a crypto coin falls, what are you left with?

The technology behind such currencies is perhaps the most interesting part.

Blockchain is a digital public ledger where transactions are recorded chronologically and added to the ‘chain’ in a secure encrypted way, reducing the possibility of data being altered. It is set to shake up many industries as it has began to already with the banking sector.

Healthcare records, voting, food traceability, along with many other areas will be affected by the technology which is said to make records completely secure.

The property industry is likely to be affected as records used for common searches when buying a property are likely to ultimately form part of a blockchain and many of the processes will be automated as a result which could lead to the reduction of involvement from lawyers in any transaction as a lot of the work they typically do will be available on a public ledger (Blockchain) and will reduce time spent on each transaction.

Quite how it will shape up and indeed shake up the property industry is yet to be seen but understanding as a much as you can about this interesting technology is important in order to see how it might affect your business.

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