But first, the industry must digitise
News broke in March 2019 of the first successful global blockchain real estate transaction. It included participants from established organisations, such as Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, Barclays, Clifford Chance, AXA XL and the Royal Bank of Scotland, who were based in 23 major real estate markets, and spanning five continents. The Instant Property Network writes of their success in a trial report published in 2019: “[t]he first transaction conducted in the trial took just 36 min[ute]s from start to finish, thus proving that when participants work together in a collaborative way, the process can really become smarter, simpler and faster”.
Nevertheless, the emergence of a successfully functioning platform does not simply guarantee its adoption. In fact, this point is best illustrated by blockchain evangelist’s favourite comparison: the rise of the internet. Software developers will have you believe that blockchain will disrupt all walks of daily life, redesigning business models and exceeding the economic and social vitality brought by the emergence of the world wide web in 1990. For the sake of clarity, I very much hope it does, as it presents a fantastic opportunity for global sustainability and inclusion. However, I have to side with the sceptics in this instance. The first successful message was sent via the internet in 1969 yet, 50 years on, conveyancers still prefer certain processes that utilise pen and paper. So why is this?