RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

APR 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/1097917

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Page 93 of 144

RISMedia's REAL ESTATE April 2019 87 Roughly occurring in the 3300 B.C.E. to 1200 B.C.E. timeframe, the Bronze Age is widely considered the era when humans first started work - ing with metal to create tools. Using a clichéd term like "game changer" doesn't do this era justice. It was part of the necessary evolution of materials and tools—aka the "tech - nologies" of the time—that have brought us to the present day. Think about it. Just as the introduc - tion of bronze superseded clumsy stone and soft copper tools, the tele - graph superseded the semaphore, the radio superseded the telegraph and the introduction of blockchain could supersede e-commerce. Speaking of the present day, the more I think about blockchain, the more I am convinced that it is one of the true groundbreaking technolo - gies of the current epoch in human history. Blockchain is certainly not the only one, however. AI, quantum computing and augmented reality/ virtual reality are among other tech - nologies that are changing society today, and leading us into uncharted territory in the not-too-distant future. 8 Blockchain and the Periodic Table Have More in Common Than You Think I find it helpful to think of these technologies as elements, similar to those that make up the periodic table we all remember from high school. Combining elements is how humans create tools and technolo - gies, and it's helpful to think of block- chain this way. By combining modern technology elements such as pow - erful computing resources, decen- tralization and cryptography (among others), blockchain was created. The main difference is that natural ele - ments are extracted from the earth, whereas blockchain was extracted from our minds in the form of creativ - ity and ingenuity. How we buy and sell things, prove our identities, enter into and execute contracts and track the food we eat back to its origin are just some of the use cases today. The contracts feature alone is particularly potent when you consider that almost every transaction is a contract of sorts, whether written, spoken or even im - plied. Smart contracts are in use in many industries, and I expect to see the concept advance from machine- readable, non-legally binding agree - ments to human- and machine-read- able, legally binding, immutable and transparent contracts—and that's just this year, and just with the smart contract function. 8 Decentralization First, Ubiquity Second One of the reasons for my confi- dence in blockchain's future is its decentralized framework. At a high level, decentralization means that data of any type stored in a "block" is not just in one, centralized loca - tion. Rather, data is distributed—not copied—across thousands of com - puters all over the world; there is no one master version like there is with paper or most digital files. With many of the key pieces to the technology puzzle in place with regard to blockchain, my co-founder, Chao Cheng-Shorland, and I keep ubiquity squarely in our sights. There is still a lot to do to build out and grow blockchain-powered platforms like the marketplace we are creating, but until blockchain reaches the type of ubiquity that there is with the in - ternet and mobile phones, it will still be just a technology with mostly un - realized potential. 8 From Discoveries of the Earth to Discoveries of the Mind In the grand scheme of things, block- chain is still a nascent technology. While we have mostly moved beyond discoveries of the earth to discover - ies of the mind like blockchain, there is still a long way to go. But we are making incredible progress—and the best is yet to come. RE Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom. For more information, please visit www.shelterzoom.com. From the Bronze Age to Blockchain Commentary by Allen Alishahi B efore we get into what is an exciting technology today, let's first go back to the Bronze Age. Yes, you read that correctly.

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