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2018 Trends Underway.

About This Column

The year 2018 is well underway and you may be noting certain trends in the news stories related to real estate. In this edition of Resource Center, we take a look at what the expert prognosticators are saying about 2018. We will then turn to a discussion of a topic that is in the news on a daily basis: cryptocurrency.

Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018

The 39th annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report is now available. Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018 can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/ EmergingTrends2018.

This popular and useful publication, produced jointly by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC, offers trends and forecast analysis, with input from industry participants. It is one of the most highly regarded and widely read forecast reports in the real estate industry. Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018 provides an outlook on real estate investment and development trends, real estate finance and capital markets, property sectors, metropolitan areas, and other real estate issues for the United States and Canada.

Emerging Trends reflects the views of individuals who completed surveys or were interviewed as a part of the research process for this report. Interviewees and survey participants represent a qualified assortment of industry experts, including investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers, and consultants. ULI and PwC researchers personally interviewed more than 800 individuals, and survey responses were received from more than 1,600 individuals, whose company affiliations break down roughly into the following categories: private property owner or developer, 34-0%; real estate advisory or service firm, 26.8%; investment manager/adviser, 6.8%; homebuilder or residential land developer, 8.2%; and bank lender, 5.4%. The remaining 19% of respondents were affiliated with REITs, institutional investors, and "other." (Page 1)

The content of the report is divided into five chapters: "Navigating at Altitude," "Capital Markets," "Markets to Watch," "Property Type Outlook," and "Emerging Trends in Canada."

Chapter 1, "Navigating at Altitude," provides an overview and some conclusions regarding the current economic conditions. The title of this chapter comes from the general belief that the economy is nearing the end of its ascent in the economic cycle and has reached cruising altitude. The consensus of survey participants is that the state of the market appears stable with gradual continued recovery from the Great Recession. "The gradual slope of economic increase since 2010 lacks the obvious characteristics of a 'boom' that would trigger a compensating 'bust' to correct its excesses." (Page 4)

The narrative in this chapter has facts, analysis, and conclusions for

* the economy and the real estate business in its many facets (working smarter and harder);

* impact of the procession of the generations (Generation Z following the millennial); (1)

* baby boomers not following predictions (thanks to the Great Recession) (see Exhibit 1-10 in the report);

* real estate and economic cycles (are they different now?);

* technology in housing (does technology cause cost saving or higher costs?);

* changes in retail and retail real estate needs (changing retail technology, e-commerce, and retail models);

* tax reform implications, timing and pros and cons for real estate (see Exhibit 1-14); (2)

* implications of replacing the LIBOR yardstick; (3) and

* expected best bets for housing demand.

Emerging Trends reports the "best bets" for 2018, as suggested by the survey respondents. These best bets include demand for middle-market housing development and affordable rental units, increased focus on income over potential appreciation, experiential retail, and senior housing momentum.

In the report, Exhibit 1-7, "Importance of Issues in Real Estate in 2018," shows what the surveyed experts believe are key issues this year. In the economic/financial category, they identified as key issues jobs and income; taxes and regulation; and macroeconomics (inflation). In the real estate/development category, the respondents said the most important issues are land and compliance costs; infrastructure and transportation; housing costs and availability; and the availability of capital. Other key exhibits in this chapter include Exhibit 1-12, "Rising Home Prices Don't Guarantee New Supply, 2000-2018," and Exhibit 1-14, "Potential Tax Reform Implications for Real Estate."

Chapter 2, "Capital Markets," addresses both the debt and equity components of financial markets. For an overview of coverage in this section, the exhibits highlight much of the narrative. Some of this chapter's particularly interesting exhibits, with liberal narrative, (4) include

* Exhibit 2-1, "U.S. Sales of Large Commercial Properties";

* Exhibit 2-2, "Debt Underwriting Standards Forecast for the United States" (survey outlook);

* Exhibit 2-3, "Anticipated Inflation and Interest Rate Trends, 2018 and the Next Five Years" (survey outlook);

* Exhibit 2-5, "Real Estate Capital Market Balance Forecast, 2018 vs 2017" (survey outlook);

* Exhibit 2-7, "Equity Underwriting Standards Forecast for the United States" (survey outlook); and

* Exhibit 2-9, "U.S. Buyers and Sellers: Net Acquisitions, by Source and Property Sector, 2Q 2016 to 2Q 2017."

Chapter 3, "Markets to Watch," has material on markets by geographic region, metro area, and property type. The information is presented in easy to understand comparative tables. This chapter starts with Exhibit 3-1, "U.S. Markets to Watch: Overall Real Estate Prospects," and Exhibit 3-2, "Homebuilding Prospects," which rank 78 metro areas. Subsequent exhibits break out "Local Outlook" information by region and metropolitan areas, and buy/sell/hold outlook for various property types, including industrial, office, hotel, retail, and multifamily.

The economic information for various metro areas reports 2018 population and change (total and ages 15-34), business costs, 2018 total employment and change, and industry location quotients. The housing data includes total units, growth, median home prices and changes, affordability rates, permits, starts, completions, sales, cost of ownership and multifamily metrics for various metro areas. Ratings are provided for metro areas based on the survey results; the ratings address investor demand, development/ redevelopment opportunities, availability of debt and equity capital, local public/private investment, and local economy outlook. In addition, the report gives overall outlook rating scores by region and metro area.

Chapter 4, "Property Type Outlook," "sifts through variables of user market and capital market fundamentals as viewed by the surveyed industry experts," and presents the results for by sectors. Here again, the exhibits help tell the story. Charts and graphs of particular interest include:

* Exhibit 4-2, "RCA Commercial Property Price Index, by Sector"

* Exhibit 4-5, "Industrial/Distribution Investment Prospect Trends"

* Senior Housing Sidebar (page 9), "Inventory Growth and Occupancy Rates for 31 Primary Senior Housing Markets, 4Q 2005-2Q 2017"

* Exhibit 4-8, "Homeownership Rates: 1995-Q2 2017," showing a peak of over 69% in 2004, declining to just under 64% in 2017

* Student Housing Sidebar (page 84), "National Off-Campus Student New Housing Supply by Year: Stabilized, Under Construction, Planned"

* Exhibit 4-11, "Profile of Office Leasing Activity by Industry, Q2 2017"

* Exhibit 4-12, "Office Investment Prospect Trends," covering medical, central city, and suburban offices

* Exhibit 4-13, "U.S. Lodging Outlook"

* Exhibit 4-14, "Hotel Investment Prospect Trends," covering both full service and limited service hotels

* Exhibit 4-15, "Retail Investment Prospect Trends," covering various retail property types; and

* Exhibit 4-16, "Prospects for Niche and Multiuse Property Types in 2018," including various property types as data centers, mixed use, and self-storage

Finally, Chapter 5, "Emerging Trends in Canadian Real Estate," provides snapshots and forecasts of property sectors in Canada.

Recommendation. Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018 is a publication worthy of your perusal. Coincidentally it is not only a highly citable resource but has names of many outstanding experts in their respective specialties--potentially valuable resources to valuers.

Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, Bitcoin, and Money that Is--and Is Not

Earlier this year, Merriam-Webster added the term cryptocurrency to the dictionary's definitions. Cryptocurrency, blockchains, and bitcoin are in the news on a daily basis. They are the business and techno buzz, hot topics of conversation, research, and growing use--as well as the subject of considerable puzzlement and controversy. So, what are these things and why should real estate valuers and analysts care?

Real estate valuers and analysts should have a reasonable working knowledge of cryptocurrencies for a number of reasons:

* First, cryptocurrencies are an increasing part of the economy and--if current trends continue--the outlook for increasing use of cryptocurrencies for transfer of funds in purchasing real estate;

* Second, analyzing sales transactions involving such currencies requires an understanding of the exchange rates and prices of the currency as well as volatility and mechanics involved in using cryptocurrencies;

* Third, cryptocurrencies have broad appeal arising from autonomy and secrecy defeating general trends toward more transparency; and,

* Fourth, the attractiveness of cryptocurrencies is not only for legitimate transactions, but money-laundering and fraudulent activity.

The following includes information to get you started in exploring the realm of cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and bitcoins.

Cryptocurrency

Currencies, such as the dollar, euro, yuan, and others, provide a medium of exchange and flexibility above barter. Further, a currency provides a unit of account allowing valuation of assets, liabilities, goods, and services, and a store of value, so wealth may be held or invested for future use. Currencies have been around for millennia, normally instituted, promulgated, defined, and regulated by governments in their economic system. (5) Currencies have a formal structure; may be backed by precious metal, such as gold, and/or by governments; are regulated, and normally have a tangible element even though it may be evidenced and transferred electronically. In contrast, cryptocurrency is an exclusively digital asset and there is no central control.

So just what is cryptocurrency'! According to Investopedia, http://bit.ly/Invest_Cryptocurrency,
   A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses
   cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to
   counterfeit because of this security feature. A defining
   feature of a cryptocurrency, and arguably its most
   endearing allure, is its organic nature; it is not issued by
   any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune
   to government interference or manipulation.


Similarly, Wikipedia, http://bit.ly/Wiki_ Cryptocurrency, offers the following description:
   A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset
   designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses
   cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the
   creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of
   assets. Cryptocurrencies are a form of digital currencies,
   alternative currencies and virtual currencies. Cryptocurrencies
   use decentralized control as opposed to centralized
   electronic money and central banking systems. The
   decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works
   through a blockchain, which is a public transaction
   database, functioning as a distributed ledger.


Crypto (i.e., encrypted) currencies (i.e., medium of exchange) are a fairly recent development. (6) The start date is usually identified as 2009, with the launch of Bitcoin. Bitcoin was established after a 2008 article by Satoshi Nakamoto, "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." (7)

Bitcoin (8) was the first of the cryptocurrencies and arguably is the most-widely known. Bitcoin is based on open-source software, which means anyone can take the program, modify it, and launch their own cryptocurrency. Not surprisingly, other cryptocurrencies have followed and are generally referred to as altcoins, a portmanteau of "alternative coin." These currencies exist only in the digital world with no physical counterpart; no government or other backing; no physical, tangible, presence--only a virtual existence; and these currencies are largely unregulated. The value of cryptocurrencies varies by supply and demand, with often widely varying exchange rates between such currencies and traditional, standard, physical currencies. Most cryptocurrencies have smaller divisions or denominations, similar in concept to hard or physical currencies. The smallest unit available in Bitcoin is the "Satoshi" (mBTC), which is one hundred-millionth of a bitcoin (BTC).

Cryptocurrency is not the only currency that has no intrinsic value. As a recent Federal Reserve paper points out, "State monopoly currencies, such as the US dollar, the euro, and the Swiss franc, have no intrinsic value either [i.e., fiat currency].... The history of state monopoly currencies is a history of wild price swings and failures." The Federal Reserve paper also notes that because the cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value, "the present price is determined solely by expectations about the future price." (9)

Today, there are a reported 1600+ cryptocurrencies and no end in sight. The top-ten cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization are:

* Bitcoin (BTC),

* Bitcoin Cash (BCH),

* Cardano (ADA),

* Eos(EOX),

* Ethereum (ETH),

* Iota (MIOTA),

* Litecoin (LTC),

* Ripple (XRP),

* Stellar (XLM), and

* Tron(TRX). (10)

Cryptocurrencies can be traded for standard, tangible fiat money or another cryptocurrency using digital currency exchanges, or cryptocurrency exchanges. These businesses may be physical stores or offices, or online businesses. For a good start at exploring such exchanges, see Wikipedia's cryptocurrency exchange primer at http://bit.ly/WIKI_CryptoExchange.

For as sampling of exchange activity, visit Coinbase.com at https://www.coinbase.com/charts to see current activity in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The graph on that website can be adjusted to display different time periods. The GDAX Digital Asset Exchange shows prices and transaction activity in a stock ticker like display; see particularly the Bitcoin related page, http://bit.ly/GDAX_BTC. (On that page, click on price chart and depth chart in the upper right corner to see the action taking place.)

Blockchains

Cryptocurrency transactions are made possible by a "blockchain," a decentralized security system that may be used in transactions as well as in asset hold or transfer applications. Real estate valuers and analysts should have a reasonable working knowledge of blockchains because the blockchain is the backbone concept behind the structure of cryptocurrencies.

So, what is a blockchain? At the simplest level, it can be thought of as a chain of blocks of transactional information. A payment order is communicated through a network of linked nodes, with the message forwarded until all nodes are informed of the transaction. Investopedia, http://bit.ly/Invest_Blockchain, describes blockchain more specifically as
   a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency
   transactions. Constantly growing as "completed"
   blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and
   added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants
   to keep track of digital currency transactions
   without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer
   connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain,
   which is downloaded automatically. Originally
   developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency
   Bitcoin, blockchains--which use what's known as
   distributed ledger technology (DLT)--are appearing in a
   variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the
   technology is primarily used to verify transactions,
   within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize,
   code and insert practically any document into the blockchain.
   Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot
   be changed; furthermore, the record's authenticity can
   be verified by the entire community using the blockchain
   instead of a single centralized authority.


Wikipedia, http://bit.ly/Wiki_Blockchain, offers another definition and description of blockchain:
   A blockchain ... is a continuously growing list of records,
   called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.
   Each block typically contains a cryptographic
   hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction
   data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant
   to modification of the data. It is "an open,
   distributed ledger that can record transactions between
   two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent
   way. " For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain
   is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively
   adhering to a protocol for validating new
   blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot
   be altered retroactively without the alteration of
   all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the
   network majority.


Investopedia, http://bit.ly/Invest_Block, provides additional information on the block in blockchain:
   Blocks are files where data ... is permanently recorded. A
   block records some or all of the most recent ... transactions
   that have not yet entered any prior blocks. Thus, a
   block is like a page of a ledger or record book. Each
   time a block is "completed," it gives way to the next
   block in the blockchain. A block is thus a permanent
   store of records which, once written, cannot be altered
   or removed.


Blockchain is a concept and tool that can be applied in a number of fields, including real estate, particularly transactions, finance, and data management use and access. As blockchains become more pervasive; their decentralization will bring privacy in some ways and increased transparency in others, and increased security in many areas of business, including supply chains, retailing, distribution, insurance, banking, and numerous others. (11) Fortune has reported that blockchain pilots and projects are underway for a number of large corporations, including JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, IBM, Maersk, Daimler, and Airbus, among others. (12)

Blockchains are secure by design because of the distributed computing system with decentralized consensus. This means the information is not all stored in one location or by one entity that is vulnerable to cyberattack or manipulation.

Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrencies

One reason for the development and use of cryptocurrencies is to make it easier--and cheaper--to transfer funds directly between two parties in a transaction. Such transfers are accomplished through use of public and private "keys" for security purposes. Some believe this type of currency is the wave of the future, (13) particularly because of the ease of transfer and the anonymity of transferor and transferee, but the concept has its drawbacks and critics.

As mentioned, a cryptocurrency is decentralized, does not have government backing, and is largely unregulated--some view this as a positive, while others view this as a negative. The wide fluctuation in exchange rates or cryptocurrency prices is viewed as a difficulty. (14) Further, because cryptocurrencies are virtual and do not have a central repository, a digital cryptocurrency balance can be wiped out by a computer crash if a backup copy (electronic and appropriately encrypted) of the holdings does not exist. Of course, you can lose your hundred-dollar bill, and there is no backup for the, physical paper whereas the evidence of your digital holdings can be backed up for security. Of course, the anonymity feature makes cryptocurrencies attractive for nefarious activities; for example, dealing in illegal trade or contraband, money-laundering, tax evasion, hidden transfer of funds, and such.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, bitchains, the security system making the concept possible, smart contracts, and the like are the subject of news stories as well as scholarly literature. Extensive information is easily available on the internet. The Appendix to this Resource Center column lists good resources for more information, insight, and understanding of cryptocurrencies. This will help get you started in being conversant with the hot topic of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, bitchains, and related topics. There is plenty more available--go dig in and learn.

About the Author

Dan L. Swango, PhD, MAI, SRA, is president of Swango Real Estate Counseling and Valuation International in Tucson, Arizona. He is experienced in valuation and consulting involving equity investment, debt security, risk reduction, profit optimization, estate planning and settlement, buy/sell opportunities, and eminent domain. Swango is an instructor and communicator with domestic and international experience. He is namesake of The Appraisal Journal's Swango Award, past Editorial Board chair and editor-in-chief of The Appraisal Journal, and a current member of the Journal's Review Panel. Contact: danswango@yahoo.com

If you know of additional resources of interest to real estate analysts and valuers--or would like to suggest topics for this column--please contact the author.

Appendix Additional Reading on Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Bitchains, and Related Topics

Cryptocurrency Overview Articles

* At the top of the reading list, I recommend a very good recent publication, "A Short Introduction to the World of Cryptocurrencies," by Aleksandar Berentsen and Fabian Schar, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review 100, no 1 (First Quarter 2018): 1-16, http://bit.ly/stlouisfed_shortintro. This is a sixteen-page downloadable article in pdf format. It includes a short introduction to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The focus is on Bitcoin, but this extensive in-depth article discusses elements shared by other blockchain implementations. It covers a variety of topics, including:

* The nature of cash, in all its forms, and electronic payment systems

* Bitcoin, Bitcoin Blockchain, and Bitcoin mining, both history and mechanics

* Monetary policy under Bitcoin

* Bitcoin growth and pricing

* Bitcoin transaction mechanics and how it involves the meeting of economics, computer science, and cryptography

* Outlook and risks for blockchain

* The "Cryptocurrency" entry in Wikipedia offers a good, clear, well-compiled and documented overview of cryptocurrency, including design architecture, economics, legality, academic studies, criticism, history, and other information. See http://bit.ly/Wiki_Cryptocurrency.

* Ledger is the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research. It is an open access journal published by the University Library System of the University of Pittsburgh. See http://bit.ly/Ledger_Journal.

* "Cryptocurrency Is Here--and It's Frightening," by Steve Andriole, Forbes (blog), August 11, 2017, http://bit.ly/Forbes_Andriole.

Cryptocurrency Overview Videos on YouTube

* "Bitcoin: How Cryptocurrencies Work," video, about 10 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2JuYHon.

* "Ever Wonder How Bitcoin (and Other Cryptocurrencies) Actually Work?" video, about 26 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2sTq97Y.

* "What Is a Bitcoin Hard Fork? Simply Explained!" video, about 5 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2JIQpg8.

* "Cardano--Simply Explained," video, about 8 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2MaXxju. (Cardano is described as a third-generation cryptocurrency.)

* "Etherium Explained," video, about 22 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2HvxwYB. (Ethereum is the second-most popular cryptocurrency, and somewhat different than Bitcoin.)

Cryptocurrency and Taxes

* "How the New Tax Law Impacts Cryptocurrencies," by David Floyd, Investopedia, January 8, 2018, http://bit.ly/lnvest_TaxLaw. (Of note is that the 1RS treats cryptocurrency as an asset, rather than currency.)

* "Bitcoin 1RS Tax Guide for Individual Filers," by Ryan Selkis, Investopedia, April 3, 2018, http :// bit. ly/l n vest_TaxG u ide.

* "1RS Eyes Profits From Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Investments," by Nathan Reiff, Investopedia, September 5, 2017, http://bit.ly/lnvest_Profits.

* "1RS Notice 2014-21,1RS Virtual Currency Guidance," downloadable PDF of 1RS Notice 2014-21 with discussion of virtual currency and sixteen FAQs, at http://bit.ly/IRS_2014-21; also see the related news release at http://bit.ly/IRS_News.

* "The Age of Cryptocurrencies: Is This the End of Money?" by Geoffrey Garrett, Knowledge@Wharton, January 18, 2018, http://bit.lyAA/harton_Money.

* "Want to Keep Up with Bitcoin Enthusiasts? Learn the Lingo," by Stephanie Yang, Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2018, http://bit.ly/WSJ_Lingo. Terms explained include HODL, Moon, Hyperbitcoinization, The Flippening, Gashening, Nocoiner, Bitshaming, the Cashening, a "sat" or "satoshi," goxed, shilling, and others.

* Cryptocurrency: Digital Asset Class of the Future--Bitcoin vs Ethereum? by Ramis Jamali, Sherwin Li, and Rodrigo Pantojalvey, Ivey Business School monograph, The Economist, 2016, http://bit.ly/Economist_Cryptocurrency.

Blockchain Resources

* "The Blockchain Will Do to the Financial System What the Internet Did to Media," by Joichi Ito, Neha Narula and Robleh Ali, Harvard Business Review, updated March 9, 2017, http://bit.ly/HBR_Blockchain.

* "Blockchain Will Help Us Prove Our Identities in a Digital World," by Michael Maineiii, Harvard Business Review, March 16, 2017, http://bit.ly/HBR_ldentities.

* "How the Blockchain Will Radically Transform the Economy," by Bettina Warburg, video, about 15 minutes, http://bit.ly/2JszF9f. This popular TED talk explains concepts, mechanics, and applications.

* "The Rise of the Decentralized Economy," by Bettina Warburgan, interesting and compelling video, about 33 minutes, http://bit.ly/2JtRq8i. Presented at the Smart City Expo World Congress, addressing the probable seminal changes in economic structure arising from technologies, including blockchain.

* "The Morning Download: Blockchain Is the New Supply Chain," by Steve Rosenbush, Wallstreet Journal, February 7, 2018, http://blt.ly/NewSupplyChain.

* "Business in the Era of Blockchain--How Technology Is Transforming Transactions," several articles by various authors, Insight Center, Harvard Business Review, March 2017, http://bit.ly/HBR_BlockchainEra.

* "The Truth About Blockchain," by Marco lansiti and Karim R. Lakhani. January-February 2017 issue, Harvard Business Review, http://bit.ly/HBR_BitchainTruth.

* "A Beginner's Guide to Blockchain Technology," collection of blockchain articles, at https://www.coindesk .com/information/. Well worth a look at this website for various topics, such as current values of major cryptocurrencies, how cryptocurrencies are bought and sold, what is blockchain technology and what can it do, what is Ethereum and how does it work, how Bitcoin mining works, differences between some cryptocurrency types, how smart contracts work, and many others. The site also has sections on blockchain technology, markets, data and research, use in business.

* "What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners," at the Blockgeeks website. This website has a number of informative articles and guides. See guides at https://blockgeeks.com/guides/ and articles at https://blockgeeks.com/articles/. The site has good basic information, and it goes deeper into more of the technical aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain, Short, Informative Videos

* "Understand the Blockchain in Two Minutes," informational video, about 2 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2LCTL1q. An amazing amount of information a short time. The video is from the Institute for the Future (www.iftf.org), with more information at www.iftf.org/blockchainfutureslab.

* "Blockchain Simply Explained," video, about 6 minutes, at http://blt.ly/2slhOEX. Great overview with enough depth for a reasonable understanding of the topic.

* "Blockchain Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty," by Bettina Warburg, video, about 18 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2HBxC0T. Presents explanations at increasingly complex levels, from child through graduate student level.

* "19 Industries the Blockcha in Will Disrupt," video from Futurethinkers.org, about 10 minutes, http://bit.ly/2kXCiFq. Expands your thinking and stimulates your imagination. This video identifies a number of companies involved and startups.

* "IBM Think Academy: Blockchain, How It Works," video, about 3 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2Hx6CQp.

* "What Is Blockchain and How Does It Work?" video, about 20 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2Jy23XL.

* "Blockchain Tutorial--How Does a Blockchain Work?" Fullstack Academy of Code technical video, about 14 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2LDRwuN.

* "What Is Hashgraph and How Will It Replace the Blockchain!?" video, about 15 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2JrblJ6. Explains Hashgraph, an alternative to blockchain.

* "How Hashgraph Works--A Simple Explanation with Pictures," video, by Leemon Baird, PhD, inventor of Hashgraph, about 52 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2kX4oRo.

Smart Contracts, Articles and Videos

Cybercurrency-based transactions not only leave out the financial middleman, they also can leave out the legal middleman using a technology called "Smart Contracts." Smart contracts specify rules and penalties and enforce obligations related to the exchange of money or property. The contracts are then converted to computer code as part of the transaction. Like blockchain, the advantages of smart contracts include autonomy without intermediaries such as brokers or lawyers, trust (documents are encrypted on a shared ledger and can't be lost by someone), safety and security through cryptography, speed, savings, and accuracy. To see a series of articles related to Smart Contracts, visit https://blockgeeks.com/guides/smart-contracts/. Below is a list of videos that are also available.

* "Smart Contracts--Simply Explained," video, about 4 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2HAf696.

* "Simple Introduction to Smart Contracts on a Blockchain," video, about 5 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2sJYWFz.

* "What Is Ethereum, Smart Contracts and Ethrereum Explained," video , about 13 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2xLI2Ssx. (Ethereum has some differences from Bitcoin but is used extensively in smart contracts.)

* "Demo: Create an Ethereum Smart Contract," video, about 7 minutes, at http://bit.ly/2Hz4B6a. (From Ethereum.org, which provides some helpful insight into the creation, application, and use of smart contracts using the Ethereum platform.)

by Dan L. Swango, PhD, MAI, SRA

For easy, direct access to the URL addresses noted throughout this article, read this column online. Go to http://bit.ly/TAJ_articles and dick on "View Current Issue." (Login required.) If using the print copy, the longer URLs have been shortened for easier entry.

(1.) Generation Z is the next demographic cohort in line after millennials, but there is not a consensus about the generational dividing line between millennials and Generation Z, with the date set anywhere from 1995 to 2001. Depending on the start date, Generation Z is estimated in size at between 65 million and 75 million--a smaller cohort than millennials but still approximately 20%- 25% of the US population. "They are now the newest labor force entrants, and are poised to alter household formation patterns, consumption, and even workplace design preferences. In other words, real estate needs to prepare for change, once again." (Page 9)

(2.) Passed in 2017, there is still considerable debate as to the effects of revisions to various part of the US tax law. The exhibit reflects PwC's views as stated in Emerging Trends, but time will tell.

(3.) The report's section, "Replacing the Yardstick" notes that the phasing out of the LIBOR benchmark between now and 2021 "is a very big deal." The report notes "S350 trillion in financial instruments that use LIBOR as the benchmark for transaction pricing and interest rate adjustment ... From a real estate standpoint, variable-rate financing such as construction loans and adjustable-rate mortgages are pegged to LIBOR. The National Association of Home Builders identifies LIBOR as the most widely used benchmark after the prime rate for residential development lending."(Page 17)

(4.) Some with historical data, some with forecasting involved.

(5.) Today there are 164 official national currencies, http://bit.ly/Worldcurrencies.

(6.) Cryptocurrencies are sometimes called digital/electronic currencies, virtual currencies, or alternative currencies, but there are some differences, see http://bit.ly/Wiki_Digital.

(7.) The original paper Is available at https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. "Satoshi Nakamoto" is a pseudonym used by the unknown individual(s) who designed Bitcoin using the blockchain system of security. The creator's original motivation was to develop a system that permitted electronic transactions without institutions with the advantage of physical cash transaction.

(8.) Bitcoin is not the same as Bitcoin Cash. For an explanation of the difference, see Jake Frankenfield, "Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash: What's the Difference?" Investopedia, February 1, 2018, http://bit.ly/lnvest_Difference.

(9.) Aleksandar Berentsen and Fabian Schar, "A Short Introduction to the World of Cryptocurrencies," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review 100, no 1 (First Quarter 2018): 1-16, http://blt.ly/stlouisfed_shortintro.

(10.) CoinMarketCap, http://bit.ly/ColnMarketCap_llst; also see "List of Cryptocurrencies," http://blt.ly/Wlkl_Llst.

(11.) See Steve Rosenbush, "The Morning Download: Blockchain Is the New Supply Chain," Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2018, http://bit.ly/NewSupplyChain; Joichi Ito, Neha Narula and Robleh Ali, "The Blockchain Will Do to the Financial System What the Internet Did to Media," Harvard Business Review, updated March 9, 2017, http://bit.ly/HBR_Blockchain.

(12.) Robert Hackett, "Japan's Biggest Bank to Switch on Blockchain Payments in 2020," Fortune, May 21, 2018, http://bit.ly/BitchainPlans.

(13.) See Aswath Damodaran, "The Crypto Currency Debate: Future of Money or Speculative Hype?" Musings on Markets (blog), August 1, 2017, http://bit.ly/CryptoDebate.

(14.) To read more about Bitcoin volatility, see Jonathan Todd Barker, "Why Is Bitcoin's Value So Volatile," Investopedia, December 27, 2017, http://bit.ly/lnvest_Volatility. For a discussion of fighting such price volatility, see Prableen Bajpai, "How Do Bitcoin Investors Combat Price Volatility?" Investopedia, February 17, 2017, http://bitJy/lnvest.,Combat. Also see Nathan Reiff, "Why Is the Price of Bitcoin Different Around the World?" Investopedia, December 6, 2017, at http://bit.ly/lnvest_Price.

Caption: Emerging Trends in Real Estate*
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Title Annotation:Resource Center
Author:Swango, Dan L.
Publication:Appraisal Journal
Article Type:Report
Date:Mar 22, 2018
Words:5175
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