Blockchain is a secure and efficient way to store data called blocks which will be next to impossible to be tampered with or altered by anyone once they have already been recorded. It updates its database regularly and people can access and view the records in real time. It was originally created as a platform for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but now, it is being used in various industries for its heavy security and efficiency.
Blockchain in Real Estate Valuation
Knowing how the Blockchain works, it can be understood why Hong Kong is using the technology in real estate valuation. Before the Blockchain came into the picture, the real estate valuation process consists of the bank having to hire a surveyor to survey a property that is about to be mortgaged by a customer. Then, the result will be sent back to the bank.
In many cases, this process proves to be repetitious since there are times when properties are surveyed more than once. In addition to that, the process is also paper-based which means that banks keep the documents for an extended period of time.
With the Blockchain transforming the real estate valuation, this will not just save time and money for both parties but will also ensure confidentiality and security of data.
The Bank of China Using Property Valuation System Run by Blockchain Tech
The Bank of China uses a property valuation platform that makes use of the Blockchain technology to store vital information such as property address, valuation, and hashed reports. Because of this, the process of property valuation has become immensely efficient for the bank and the customers.
Using the platform, the bank will request for the surveyor to survey a property. After the surveyor is already done with the task, they can proceed to reporting the property’s value. The full report can be done by filling up the property valuation form. After the form has been filled up, it will be uploaded on the Blockchain, and the bank can access it in real time. All information that is recorded can be verified and processed in real time before they are permanently stored.
Antonovici (2018) reports that the general manager of the Bank of China’s IT department, Rocky Cheng Chung-ngam, finds that 85% of mortgage-related real estate valuations of the bank are already being processed by the same platform.
The Bank of China is not the only bank that has been modernizing their approach on real estate valuation, some banks like HSBC has also followed suit.
How Safe is the Use of Blockchain?
Unfortunately, there are other banks are still skeptical about the adaptation of the Blockchain technology on their banking system due to fears of data being leaked or becoming more vulnerable to cyber-attacks (Weinland, 2016).
However, Blockchain works in such a way that it never has a single point of failure. It is also important to note that the Blockchain is not controlled by a single entity, which makes it almost impossible to alter or tamper any information inside the storage system (Rosic, 2016). For data to be manipulated by an individual, it would take an enormous amount of computing power to overrule the entire network.
The reason why bigger banks are not afraid of incorporating the Blockchain technology in their banking property valuation processes is that it has the least regulatory concern. In fact, there are plans on using the same technology in the management of other banking process that involves more sensitive legal documents (Weinland, 2016).
In November 2017, it was reported that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), which acts as the central bank of Hong Kong, was considering using blockchain in Trade Finance to further their initiatives on adopting up-to-date technologies.
It is certain that the Blockchain technology has already arrived and that it isn’t some science fiction plot. In the months and years to come, we’ll definitely see more and more usage of Blockchain that will greatly affect our day to day lives.
I think the more interesting question is: how will the current businesses and industries adapt to it?
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