“Digital currencies” aren’t needed to explain why distributed ledgers are important.
In this post, I develop an argument for replicated shared ledgers from first principles. It is intended to be an “education piece” aimed at those, particularly in the finance industry, who prefer explanations of new technologies to be rooted in a description of a real-world business problem rather than beginning with a description of a purported solution. So, in this piece, you’ll find no mention of digital currencies, etc., because it turns out you don’t need them to derive an argument for distributed ledger technologies!
(Note to regular readers: see the end of the piece for some context)
We’ll start with banking systems
Start by thinking about today’s banking systems. In what follows, I use a bank deposit and payments example. But the same logic applies everywhere you look, as I’ll argue later.
Let’s imagine a world with three banks: Bank…
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Remodeling network Porch has unveiled a second tool that brokerages, website providers and listing search services can use to augment listings with renovation project history reports, and squeeze more leads out of real estate websites.
A number of leading real estate companies have already adopted the widget, highlighting the appeal of the latest lead-capture feature to become available to real estate websites. AddressReport is another property report provider that recently fashioned a lead generation product for real estate firms.
Prospective buyers that visit listing pages equipped with Porch’s new widget may click the add-on to pull up a Porch report detailing the listing’s remodeling project history.
Companies that embed the widget on their websites can gate the property report behind a form that requires a user to enter their contact information. They can also add their branding or a real estate agent’s branding to the reports.
The integration “creates the ability to drive meaningfully more leads” through a real estate search website, said Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman.
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How Real Estate Uses Big Data to Track Clients
Photo: Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal
Sitting in bed at 1:40 a.m. one morning last November, Jon Hoefling was thinking about selling his 4,300-square-foot home in Morgan Hill, Calif. While browsing Facebook on his phone, he clicked on a real-estate ad offering to estimate his home’s value. His future listing agent, who paid for the ad, was waiting.
Mr. Hoefling, the 50-year-old owner of an office-furniture resale company, had been targeted for the ad—along with 1,500 others in California’s Silicon Valley area—by an algorithm that identified him as a likely home seller. The telltale signs: Mr. Hoefling has lived in the home for more than 15 years, and his home’s market value is high for the area. Most important, his youngest son will soon leave for college. Empty nesters might as well wear a bull’s-eye.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking appeared at the Zeitgeist 2015 conference in London and confirmed the fears held by anyone who has watched a movie with a robot in it since 1927’s Metropolis when he said, “Computers will overtake humans with AI at some within the next 100 years. When that happens, we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours.”