Block Chains: The Biggest Threat to #CRE #EVER or Not?

Block Chains: A block chain is a transaction database shared by all nodes participating in a system based on the Bitcoin protocol. A full copy of a currency’s block chain contains every transaction ever executed in the currency. With this information, one can find out how much value belonged to each address at any point in history.

Every block contains a hash of the previous block. This has the effect of creating a chain of blocks from the genesis block to the current block. Each block is guaranteed to come after the previous block chronologically because the previous block’s hash would otherwise not be known. Each block is also computationally impractical to modify once it has been in the chain for a while because every block after it would also have to be regenerated. These properties are what make double-spending of bitcoins very difficult. The block chain is the main innovation of Bitcoin.


You have heard about block chains and still wonder what they may mean to you and commercial real estate.

The first and maybe the only question you may have is “will it help or eliminate me from a commercial real estate transaction?”

The next may be “if it does or not what should I look out for?”

The Property: A property with a digital identity.

Right now, all properties have an address. Block Chain will allow every property to have a digital address.

A digital address that will include every verifiable data point that is connected to the property.

– The owner.

– The tenants and the terms of the actual leases.

– The building performance such as HVAC, electric use, water use, people use. etc.

– When where and how the building has been constructed serviced and maintained and by whom.

– The value. The real value (based on ACTUAL building data) and how it compares to every other structure. THE REAL VALUE.

The Transaction.

We have all sat through them. It’s sometimes daunting. The paper with paper that needs to be signed to verify the signature on the paper.

A digital transaction that starts with the financing.

What does that take today?

Please somebody, please change the structure of just this part of the transaction. Eliminate the credit bureaus. Eliminate the TIME it takes to put the financial piece together. Eliminate the underwriting. Verified digital financial history and capability at the touch of a button.

This is starting to sound better and better.

The actual offer. The digital offer.

Time terms names entities taxes price dates and disclosures all verified——–instantly.

It’s just that simple.

Don’t want to opt into the full information transparency it takes to execute the digital transaction?

Get out of commercial real estate. GET OUT!

Creating the deal. The digital deal.

Where do you fit in? How about not at all?

What if the building has already created all the value you bring to the table?

How is that possible?

Scenario: The building data is online and searchable. Transparent and searchable.

Google a digital address.

There it all is——–right in front of you.

Location, Price, Building Data, all Block Chain Verified.

And the OWNER—–THE OWNER is taking offers to purchase——-DIRECTLY.

It’s their building. It’s their asset. It’s their data. It’s their building, and they can do whatever they want with it.


Why would they hold that data back?

They won’t be able to. Will they have no choice?


Market Demand. The market will demand it.

If you are a potential purchaser which building would you want to purchase? The building that has little or no data available or data you have to dig find and verify on your own. (“Buyer Beware”)

Or a building that has it all right in front of you updated and verified by Block Chain?

Here is a thought. The owner does not even have to “allow” this data to become transparent.

The building ITSELF is transparent.

The building could do the transaction itself.


Digitally with Block Chain as the basis of verified data.


Block Chain.

“Will it help or eliminate me from a commercial real estate transaction?”

“If it does or not what should I look out for?”

Block Chains: The Biggest Threat to #CRE #EVER or NOT?



+1 There is so much more!











Duke Long


  • Well that got my attention. Interesting idea. Of course, as with anything in CRE, it will be resisted by existing infrastructure and those who don’t like change. Bitcoin itself will take some time, but could actually get there. Generally for any new tech/innovation, you need easy access, affordability, and accountability for it to be accepted. The easy access for bitcoin is not quite there yet, affordability – I guess with currency, it is what it is – but accountability is the irony, here. It’s totally accountable. It’s like a microchipped dollar. But the general population has yet to buy that because we don’t have to (we still have credit cards, dollars, and even loyalty points as currencies) and we don’t really understand Bitcoin. I’m still not totally clear on Block Chains but have been reading about it, which is why your post caught my attention. iPay may catch on but only because our existing infrastructure (Bank of America) backed it and Apple created it. But, frankly, i love the idea. Disruption is always fascinating. And no, I don’t believe it would displace CRE advisors, because CRE advisors will become masters of sorting through “big data” and doing sophisticated analysis and negotiations. Also, buildings will not stay exactly the same, tenants change, redevelopment happens, areas get hot and then not, etc. But, really interesting idea.

      • I hope so! I can recall in 1999 trying to convince the industry that “email was not a fad.” Although, I might argue now that “email’s” shelf life is shortening so I could have been wrong on that one … Can’t wait to see what comes next, whether “Email 4.0” or “Blockchains” for real estate transfers.

  • Duke, interesting comment, never had heard of this concept before your post. Of course, something like this could be frightening. Then again, if someone can offer their clients value (not just a pre-fab website or slap up an MLS listing) then there will always be a place for professional advisors. Many people thought companies like Legal Zoom would kill the legal profession. It’s still there. Of course, attorneys who have wanted to survive have had to get better at delivering value. Those that have are doing just fine, thanks. I think the same could be said for this business as well. If anything, block chains can become a tool for the CRE practitioner who is willing to learn it and apply it to their practice. If so, then that sounds like a good thing to me.