Blockchain: Digitally Rebuilding the Real Estate Industry by Avi Spielman

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Blockchain: Digitally Rebuilding the Real Estate Industry by Avi Spielman

Blockchain: Digitally Rebuilding the Real Estate Industry by Avi Spielman

Blockchain: Digitally Rebuilding the Real Estate Industry
by
Avi Spielman

ABSTRACT

There are tremendous potential applications for blockchain technology, an innovative distributed
ledger database system, within the real estate industry. This paper will explore one aspectrecording
property titles- by comparing the benefits and limitations of a blockchain with those of
the current record keeping system.

This paper will begin with a brief overview of the current state of the title recording system in
the U.S. followed by a deeper look into the procedures of one rapidly growing American city,
Nashville (Davidson County), Tennessee. The goal is to understand current real estate title
systems and technologies in order to identify their benefits and limitations.

Next, this paper will introduce the concept of blockchain technology, starting with a high level
technical overview of how the technology works, as well as its benefits and limitations. It will
also examine Bitcoin, which operates on the largest blockchain, as a potential model, whose
practical applications may be adapted in creating a more efficient and safer title registry system.
Recommendations will then be made for possible methods of implementing a blockchain-based
registry and how its use might change the way real estate title transactions are handled in
Davidson County, TN in order to determine if the collective benefits outweigh the costs.

The research to date leads to the following conclusions: A blockchain title recording system is
the future of title record keeping and would provide immediate benefits over the current title
recording system, with additional benefits accruing in the future as blockchain technology grows
in acceptance. However, at the moment, these benefits do not yet outweigh the costs and
challenges associated with implementing a prototype blockchain title registry system in
Davidson County, or elsewhere in the country. That being said, steps can, and should be taken
now to lay the foundation for a blockchain system.

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