Transparency and Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I stand on the shoulders of giants with this one. Like so many smarter people before me, I’m watching how intelligent people discover, analyze and then teach (or share) their findings through their writing. I’m just trying to emulate them. I look for great pieces of writing and analysis and then I decompose it, mold it and regurgitate it onto my own Substack to make sense of it. One example of this was over the last two days I learned about a data analytics tool for the decentralized internet. I felt like we were getting a glimpse into the future when Fred Wilson shared about Dune Analytics. He always does a good job of breaking things down simply. Then this morning Brandon Donnelly wrote about it after seeing Fred’s post about it. Brandon broke it down even further and added some commentary about OpenSea running away with the NFT marketplace business and how it’s only a matter of time before we see this kind of transparency in real estate transactions that use distributed ledgers. I like both of their writing. I’ve been fans of theirs since day one. I know Brandon personally and I feel like I know Fred well from all of his writing. When I grow up I hope to be some combination of them both (a creative real estate brain mixed with an astute eye for investing in technology). Jokes, I’ll never grow up…

Anyway, my mind expanded over the last few days when I learned about Dune. We live in a world where the most coveted data sits behind pay walls. Our internet provides access but it hasn’t fully democratized every piece of data. While we have Reddit and Wikipedia which are beautiful examples of open-source spaces for data sharing and knowledge collection, we often are blocked from seeing crucial pieces of information such as money flows, marketplace volumes and transaction data. Many of those transaction details exist but they are controlled by the governing hands of market participants and facilitators. The decentralized internet or blockchain as we’ve come to call it is changing the dynamic. The data is available and public. It’s immutable and it’s open for analysis. There are obviously some components of privacy such as encrypted transaction details on who is transacting but the anonymized transaction is available for evaluation. This makes me think about a few applications in the real estate world.

One of the micro use cases is energy flows and electric vehicle charging. If every charger were to upload its transaction and energy flows to the distributed ledger then we could see how much energy costs per kwh and we could see how electrons are flowing in real time. I don’t know why you would want to see that quite yet but I’m sure some hedge fund has a use for that in figuring out a monetizable event! On the more macro level, taking title and recording transactions on distributed ledgers will have a meaningful impact to real estate. For anyone that has gone through the process of buying real estate, you know how laborious taking title and getting title insurance can be. With a decentralized internet, processes in ownership will change. How? I don’t know quite yet but they will. With the arrival of Dune, and others that are similar, we will have all the immutable data at our fingertips to analyze, scrutinize and build upon. To future we trot.