Blockchain In Focus (Part Two)
October 31, 2018

Rumbie: So, picking up from where we left off, we were about to discuss some of the ways that blockchain can be incorporated into the property sector.

Daniel: Well, the first way is that blockchain is completely immutable; that means you can’t reverse a transaction, you can’t go backwards. If I accidentally pay the wrong person, I accidentally pay the wrong person, that’s it. Where some people see it as a problem, others see it as a feature. You can write scripts or write programmes on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Its effectively programmable money. Someone could write a script that says, “my bitcoin gets paid to person x, but this escrow agent has to approve that the transaction is legitimate.” That script is then immutable. So you can make it work for you- its programmable money. If you think way down the line, you could operate a whole business on a programmable script of everyone getting paid and how the whole business runs and the flow of money into the business.  You can do so much with bitcoin. We’re just scratching the surface.

The other big thing we spoke about earlier was about it being completely transparent. There are incidents that I’ve heard about in some parts of the world where people were selling properties that they don’t own, and after being paid, taking the money and disappearing into thin air. So transparency would really help in such situations.

Outside of the currency situation, another thing is if you put title deeds on the blockchain, where every time ownership is transferred, that that gets approved by a distributed ledger, so no one can lie about who owns what because it’s on a distributed ledger. You can’t really dispute that.

Rumbie: So how into blockchain do you think South Africans are in comparison with the rest of the world?

Daniel: I think South Africans are generally quite switched on about it. However, South Africans are generally doing it from an investment point of view; they want to invest in crypto and try to make money out of it. If you look at google trends data regards searches on bitcoin, blockchain or cryptocurrency, it gives you the locations on where these terms had the most searches, and South Africa has historically repeatedly come up in the top 3. So people are aware.

Rumbie: How do people get into it here?

Daniel: So, the most well-known company in South Africa is Luno. There you can get fully FICA’d and you can buy your coins through them with your Rands. They will hold you’re the bitcoin on your behalf; you don’t actually own it.

Rumbie: Ok, and is blockchain government regulated here in this country?

Daniel: It’s actually very tricky to regulate, because it’s borderless. So it’s very difficult for a regulatory body to say “this is our jurisdiction you have to abide by these laws.” Where they can regulate is the swapping or on-ramping and off-ramping from bitcoin to fiat currency. There will be capital gains tax on some transactions; they can tax your fiat currency. They can regulate the fiat side of things, but they are still trying to figure out how else to regulate outside the on-ramping and off-ramping side of things. It’s like how do you regulate the internet? The internet is borderless information and blockchain is borderless money.

Rumbie: Alright, I think that’s it. Thank you so much for your time. Any final words of advice regards crypto?

Daniel: Yes. Visit virtuedigitalassests.com