The perfect fusion of collaboration, verifiability and information accessibility
Tiago Dias26 July 2023
The fundamental truth of blockchain technology lies in its ability to bring about a change in human behavior through internet-based collaboration and secure, democratic data sharing and access.
This change in behavior creates mutually beneficial results for all stakeholders, ensuring the creation of fairer and more democratic markets and societies.
To achieve this on a large scale, an incentive is needed to motivate stakeholders to share their information, with the appropriate reliability, called a token. This essential element has always been absent from what are known as traditional enterprise blockchains, which have focused mainly on improving the quality of real-world data.
Enterprise blockchains have emerged as a solution to this issue, and in the case of European real estate markets, to make them more transparent, secure, reliable and efficient, but for this to happen we have to move away from this approach where the vast majority of players, due to a narrative sold over the last 40 (forty) years, that information must be kept in closed information silos.
Well, that was true ten years ago, but nowadays people and citizens are looking for and demanding transparency, and businesses will have to adapt to this new reality and demand from citizens.
Let’s take a closer look at the type of networks within this new concept of decentralized and distributed networks, so that we can then draw parallels as to the best solution for the European real estate markets:
Public blockchains allow anyone to join them; The operation of the network is completely transparent and open; There are no centralized entities.
Access to the network is restricted to entities that are accepted by the central control unit; Access to the transaction ledger or any other means of information generated is private; The economic maintenance of the network is generally dependent on the company supporting the project. This type of blockchain generally has the same elements as a public blockchain, but unlike them, permissioned blockchains depend on a central unit that controls all actions within it.
3. Hybrid or Federated Blockchain.
Access to the network is restricted to items that can only be authorized by the other control units. Access to the transaction ledger or any other information generated by the network is public. The network’s consensus is provided by other means that guarantee that the data is correct. There is no mining or cryptocurrencies.
The ecosystem is partially decentralized, which leads to a better level of information security and transparency. This type of blockchain is a fusion between public and private blockchains. It’s an attempt to get the best of both worlds. In these blockchains, participation in the network is private. In other words, access to network resources is controlled by one or more entities. However, the ledger (or rather, the single source of truth) can be accessed publicly if it is information of public interest. If the information is private, those with the right and interest should request access to it, in a very simple way. This means that anyone can explore block by block everything that happens on this type of network, taking into account the importance and privacy of the information in question.
These types of blockchain networks are very useful for European governments and regulators, or business organizations that want to store or share their data securely, obtaining a financial benefit by participating in the construction and maintenance of a database that will serve as the only source of truth for any sector or ecosystem of society. In terms of the real estate market, I can say that due to its context, and the fact that there are many, many players with completely conflicting motivations, this concept makes perfect sense and will make it more trusted by everyone.
That’s why the future of the real estate market and the vision I’ve been bringing to it over the last 12 months will be based on blockchain technology, so that once and for all we can unlock the transparency of information in this market that is in the public interest, protecting the rest of the information that can’t be made public in a way that has never been thought of before, creating a single source of truth and creating a financial incentive for all the players to feel motivated to collaborate in this new paradigm where the citizen is placed at the center of the entire ecosystem. And note, I’m also talking about the regulator and the government institutions that participate in this market.
Unlike analytics companies, Unlockit decided to tackle the problem at its core. All of us who set out to change the market must put the citizen at the center of our thinking, and collaboratively make the market more equitable, efficient and transparent. Since we entered the market, we have promoted empowering all players, without exception, and this is how we will behave. I know that this market is very prone to radical distrust of everything and everyone, but we will be the pioneers of a different attitude, always honest, with integrity.
I leave you with a question.
Why should any citizen not have access to the selling price of houses? What strong reason is there for this information not to be available to any citizen, just a few clicks away?
Someone can explain it to me, because so far I haven’t found a reason and this is one of my first missions as an entrepreneur, because I know that by doing so I’ll be improving the market and making society better. In 2019, the difference between the asking price and the actual sale price was 22% in Lisbon and 30% in Porto, so this is where real estate speculation begins.
Don’t just think of blockchain technology as a tool. You can think of it as a tool with the right capacity and requirements to offer better governance to businesses and the management, maintenance and availability of information. We deserve more and better, because at the end of the day, we are all citizens.
In terms of all the innovation we are creating in terms of digitizing and automating any European real estate transaction process, we want to and will create financial instruments that tackle one of the major problems in this market: the lack of liquidity, and we want to try to create a product for the European rental market once and for all.
Our mission is right, completely right. Perhaps that’s why public and government institutions in Portugal and Spain are willing and very interested to sit down and talk with us and create short/medium-term action plans so that this change can happen through co-innovation partnerships.