[Interview] Blockchain technology to cut property transaction cost: Bitcoin.com CEO

  • 2018-07-27

“The impact of blockchain technology will not be limited within financial markets. Blockchain technology will also impact real estate transactions, smart city planning, and other areas in the real estate industry,” said CEO of Bitcoin.com Roger Ver in an interview with Korea Economic Daily on July 20th.

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Ver is an early investor of bitcoin, and has been an influential figure in theblockchain ecosystem. He has invested in various blockchain-related start-ups, including cryptocurrency Ripple and crypto exchange market Kraken.

Ver will participate in Real Estate Blockchain Expo 2018 (RBE 2018) as a keynote speaker; RBE 2018 will take place on September 19 – 21, 2018 at COEX A Hall, Samseong-dong, Seoul, Korea, and will introduce the potential convergence between real estate market and blockchain technology.

“Blockchain technology can innovate the real estate market by cutting transaction costs immensely. Blockchain technology itself guarantees the security of transaction, so you won’t have to take any additional measure”, Ver said.

Blockchain records a certain number of transactions that has taken place during a specific period into a block. As blockchain records the data it also verifies it. Since a new record block is connected to a previous block, it is nearly impossible to manipulate or contaminate the data.

Ver went on: “In the United States, every real estate transaction is required a title insurance to avoid any potential conflicts and complication between buyers and sellers, and it is quite expensive. Implementation of blockchain technology into a real estate transaction will eliminate the need for such insurance.”

Ver believes that cryptocurrencies are not an substitution to real estate investment, but a complement instrument. He noted: “In the United States and Europe, real estate mortgage financing that use cryptocurrencies as collateral have already been created. Cryptocurrencies can serve the role as same as fiat money and escrow services do in a real estate transaction.”

Ver also projected that blockchain technology will play a important role in smart-city developments.

Ver said: “Blockchain technology can blend into our everyday lives alongside the Internet of Things. In the United States and the Switzerland, there already have been some cases in which people pay electricity bills and property tax with cryptocurrency. As blockchain technology continues its development, transactions will be processed faster, and there is a great potential for its use in a variety of ways.”

He considers the biggest hurdle that prevents the implementation of blockchain technology into real estate market would be governmental regulation, not the limit of the technology itself.

“In most countries, real estate industry is not following up with the speed of technological innovation,” he argued: “As blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies expand their usage, old regulation rules must be changed.

By Seon Hangyeol

always@hankyung.com