Is automated home ownership the future?

The rise of Airbnb and Uber has showcased over the last couple of years that a “sharing economy” is quite possible - but can it be taken a step further by automating the whole process with smart programming, potentially removing the middleman completely?

Airbnb is currently the leading portal for short term rentals and the model works on many levels, but they still require a large amount of labour to keep things running smoothly - and this has been one of the largest hurdles when it comes to the success of a “sharing lifestyle”

This is where a blockchain comes in - put in layman's terms by Randy Waldman, a programmer, blockchain expert and economics expert:

 “It’s a different way of keeping track of a normative set of information,” he says. Instead of storing the information in one central location – the county records office, say, or Airbnb’s database – blockchain makes multiple copies and distributes them across all the nodes of a network.

These nodes don’t have to be people. They can be things. This is what makes blockchain such a potentially powerful accelerant of the sharing economy: it gives property the ability to know who its owner is. 

What’s extraordinary about a smart contract is that it gives blockchain the power to not only record property rights but enforce them. Once deployed, a dozen lines of computer code can fulfill the same role as the county records office, the courts and the police. You can have “the function of a trusted bureaucracy without the expense of putting together a trusted bureaucracy”, Waldman explains.
the Guardian

Essentially this means that now the home owner can post a price for the rental, the renter sends through the money from their smartphones and inside the door a very small computer connected to internet knows when the renter is allowed to enter the property and unlocks the door for them when they push a button on their phones. 

There are however still many questions to answer before such a model might work in reality but it does open the door for some incredible new technologies and opportunities. 

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