I’ve begun an investigation into blockchain for real estate titles noting that most-likely-to-be-successful Cook County Clerk candidate appears to be running on it. I agree that either blockchain, or something similar, or even completely different, that someone comes up with to automate and secure the process, will be the future of real estate conveyance. That is inevitable, and probably a good thing.** Now, the current recorder (same person as the clerk candidate as the offices of clerk and recorder are merging) says the office will no longer record deeds signed by heirs of a prior deceased owner (so I’ve heard).
The idea of blockchain (very oversimplified) is that the subject starts in a particular state, a transaction, paid for by unspent transaction output of other transactions, operates on the state leading to a new state. Each state is hashed, and each subsequent states seeks and relies on the hash of the prior state. If that hash isn’t found, subsequent transactions branch off into a new chain. Other nodes won’t work on the new chain because it doesn’t contain the correct starting hash — that’s the security. So, if a new deed is signed by people who are not the grantees of the prior deed, that new deed creates a new, deviant branch chain that eventually dies off as nodes reject it for lack of the hash they’re seeking.
I wonder what is supposed to happen when a successor trustee conveys, or when a trust branches off into individual beneficiary trusts by the terms of a family trust, or when an LLC or Corporation has a name change, or merges, or dissolves. What about mechanics’ liens from tenant or agent approved work? Lots of question. Answers will likely come, and the people who keep and open mind, and eventually provide the answers will be the leaders of this new world of conveyancing.