Will technology be the catalyst for the much sought-after transparency and evolution of the market?
Tiago Dias8 de June 2022
On August 18, 2008 the domain “bitcoin.org” was registered, and in October of the same year the whitepaper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published.
This incredible invention apparently arose from the need to provide a clear response to the global economic crisis experienced in 2008, or looking at history, to its successive cycles or economic crises worldwide.
The truth is that the idea and its execution led to the creation of a decentralized and distributed electronic payment system, without the control of a central entity. Nakamoto suggested, with some sarcasm and a lot of certainty at the time, that people should stop trusting banks or centralized entities that could print as much money as they liked, and just trust mathematics and cryptography, and the fact that Bitcoin is a scarce and finite commodity that will make it, I say, a very attractive store of value.
This will probably be, for me, the greatest invention and technological revolution that has happened in the last 100 years.
We are living in times that are as wonderful as they are dysfunctional, so typical and characteristic of many other disruptions that have had an impact on the world similar to this one. I know that there is still a lot of uncertainty about its massive adoption and also about the volatility of Bitcoin’s price and the entire cryptocurrency market, but the explanation seems to be simple.
In 1962, Evert Rogers, an American sociology professor, developed a theory called “Diffusion of Innovations” to explain this phenomenon. He discovered that there are five types of people in society and that these people behave very differently when they have to adopt new behaviors, actions or simply accept new ideas.
Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a myriad of articles about the “sale” of the first property in Portugal to be made using Bitcoin and the excitement and novelty it has generated in the market, the press and people in general. It was indeed a very well-executed marketing move by Zome, but I have to say that the real challenge was legal or, in the first instance, finding two people willing to exchange value in the way mentioned above.
But let’s not confuse crypto with the technology that supports it. This presupposes the implementation of a data structure with transaction records that are digitally signed to ensure their authenticity and guarantee their immutability, distributed on a platform with several layers of shared and authenticated records. Each time there is a new transaction, the platform validates it and adds a new “block” to the information chain, but if it is not recognized as valid, it is not accepted. It’s like a public ledger.
Today I can say that there seems to be little doubt about its applicability in the real world and the added value it will bring to society and the way we will exchange value, in whatever sector, in the future.
It’s time for the market, the regulator and its decision-makers to realize, once and for all, that technology is not, and will not be, a threat to those in the market, but rather a catalyst for it to become more transparent, more reliable, more efficient and with greater and faster liquidity.
There’s no need to be afraid of writing words that have always been taboo, or forbidden, for the market and for those who have always been in it, because we mustn’t forget that the next generation will have different needs and a different way of being and looking at life, and in order to be able to provide a better service to customers, we need to start creating technological habits or creating the conditions for businesses to thrive.
It’s normal that those in control of the status quo will always try to maintain it in order to maintain power, market share or simply control (in this case hide) information. We all know that every real estate transaction is a complex, completely paper-based process where the average person never quite knows what step to take next, often without open and credible information to support better and faster investment decisions.
For me, this idea that technology is a target to be knocked down really doesn’t make any sense and I can say with a high degree of certainty that, no matter how much you try to contradict it, this will be a good inevitability. You just have to know the reality of the markets in the most developed countries.
In my next articles, I will provide a detailed analysis of how this technology, based on decentralization, collaboration and transparency, will change the way this market operates and relates to each other in the not too distant future.
This is a more than necessary evolution, given that all the players in this market, even if they are suspicious of what I am writing, will be empowered by the added value that digitalization, automation, artificial intelligence or web 3.0 will bring implicitly, gradually and organically.
What I want to show is that this change will never be binary or immediate, that it may take more or less time, but that it will happen in the short to medium term. No one doubts that.
There is a path of adoption to be made by those who really care about the experience and the service provided to the customer and, ultimately, to society, because in the end it is the customers who will impose their will by choosing the actors who best adapt to, or are most concerned about, their new needs, desires or demands.
And here lies the opportunity for mediation: to help potential clients understand the possibilities that exist, to show their advantages and to help with any possible transaction.
In Portugal we still have a long way to go to reach the levels of market penetration typical of more mature countries, where more than 85% of real estate transactions are carried out in the real estate brokerage sphere without any obligation to hire the service, and it seems to me much more interesting to think about a medium-term promotion strategy that helps people who don’t use the real estate brokerage service to convert and change their general opinion about the relevance of the service, than trying to prevent technology from becoming an indispensable asset in the day-to-day lives of those who want to mediate this type of business.
The aim must always be to provide the best and most transparent customer service, and those who think this way will have a clear competitive advantage over all the others who only think about surviving.
We believe that technology supports service and will in fact be the catalyst for the much sought-after transparency, a better customer experience, automation and total digitalization of the market, security and integrity of information and, finally, a more reliable market. I say this with an open heart and without any conflict of interest preventing me from doing so, after all, my true mission as Unlockit is and will always be to help mediation reach levels of trustworthiness and reliability that have never been possible in this market.
This is my mission, this is the mission of Unlockit, which challenges the status quo and brings the possibility of evolving into a new way of being and working in the real estate market without replacing anyone in their current roles and only empowering those who want to be empowered.
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