Henry County Real Estate and Blockchain: Coming Our Way?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners 242866

Last year, Henry County readers started reading about real estate sales transacted in bitcoin. Since Henry County real estate changes hands through transactions involving six- or seven-figure dollar amounts, the idea of actually completing sales in the mysterious new digital coinage was novel enough to get a lot of attention. “Will Bitcoin Revolutionize How Real Estate is Bought and Sold?” asked NAR.com this past February. The answer was maybe, but probably not in a meaningful way—at least not any time soon.

So Henry County homeowners needn’t feel that they are likely to be left out of some momentous advantage if they don’t constantly track bitcoin’s value gyrations. But there is a related phenomenon that could prove to be more of a Henry County real estate game-changer. It’s not the cryptocurrencies themselves, but rather the technology behind them: “the blockchain.”  

At the simplest level, a blockchain is a list of transactions in chronological order. Accountants have always called such a list a ledger. Monkeying around with entries in a ledger is a practice likely to land someone a jail sentence.

The ultimate aim of Henry County real estate transactions is to verify who winds up owning a property. Traditionally, a local official keeps track of who owns what by means of a recording in a book. As a result, today land records (deeds, oil-and-gas rights filings, mortgage documents and the like) are housed in more than 3,000 courthouses and city halls around the country. Some are available in searchable databases, some are in the process of being scanned and converted—but many are not. In any case, the process is labor-intensive and subject to human error.

As Fast Company wrote recently, the current state of affairs “can make figuring out who has rights to a particular piece of land cumbersome and vulnerable to…fraud.” Everyone agrees that this way of tracking ownership doesn’t sound much like a 21st-century solution. 

Enter blockchain technology, which could create a tamper-proof digital registry. Without going too far into the weeds, once real estate title records are regularly validated via blockchain, much of the manual paperwork will be eliminated. At the same time, those records become more transparent, easily accessible, and forgery- and fraud-proof. 

So while bitcoin uses blockchain technology to keep track of who owns how much of the currency, a completely separate phenomenon will emerge when the technology becomes standard for verifying real estate ownership. That will cut down on much of the labor, bringing significant cost reductions along for the ride. It will be revolutionary.

Keeping ahead of the changing real estate landscape is an important part of my service. I hope you’ll give me a call for any and all Henry County real estate matters!

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Rainer
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Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

Immutable records stored on blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) will be useful for many types of important records including real estate, financial, medical, legal, business, government, education, shipping, logistics, etc.

Although records cannot be removed or altered once stored on the blockchain, there is still a risk at the data entry point of an operator typing incorrect information or omitting information. It would be useful to include a quality control inspection to check the data entry for errors before submitting to the blockchain.

I recently have been reviewing water well records for a subdivision in Colorado and found many typos that have created errors in the database. Some were caused by typing errors and some were caused by transcription errors from misreading sloppy handwriting on paper forms. There also appear to be missing entries where the data entry operator skipped over a valid entry.

It will take time and money to migrate old legacy databases to blockchain distributed ledgers.

As a notary, I am following a company that is developing an electronic notary journal using blockchain.

Aug 05, 2018 08:24 PM #1
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Rainer
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Ron Chastain

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