Over the last couple years we’ve experienced an explosion of new blockchains promising new feats in hopes of dominating the blockspace market. However, in our view, many of these projects are doomed to fail.
Some blockchains simply forked Ethereum and inaccurately promised higher throughput and lower fees while others chose entirely different strategies like optimizing for scale instead of decentralization. Popular chains like Ethereum are congested with digital assets and other networks like Solana simply don’t fit our decentralization thesis. Mortar chose to build a new blockchain to power real estate because we see a future where all ultramassive asset classes with various and layered structures and products need their own ecosystem. Because of this, we saw an opportunity to develop a decentralized ecosystem focused solely on secure real estate transactions, layered CRE financial products and novel automation within the industry.
Our mission is to make it easy for any owner, institution or developer to invest in and run their real estate business utilizing decentralized blockchain technology. Decentralized applications being built on Mortar include tokenized debt tools and secure property title/document transfer protocols with many more under development. Everything is powered by Mortar's native BRCK token.
We believe an asset class as sizable and complicated as real estate deserves its own blockchain.
Over the past few years we’ve seen blockchain volumes specialize around particular asset classes. Ethereum has become the gold standard for DeFi and high-end digital art pieces while Solana has found its footing offering high volume, low cost transactions in the gaming and gambling spaces.
Since anything can be tokenized through an immutable ID on-chain, it’s not difficult to imagine a future where everything from our driver’s license to house title is stored on the blockchain. However, this method of storing information becomes problematic when considering that even with scalable layer 2 chains like Polygon and Optimism—networks have become overloaded with significant storage and computational requirements. Additionally if all assets were transacted on the same blockchain, developers and institutions would face considerable challenges when querying information for their specific use case.
Today, most developers use services like Etherscan or OpenGraph to query chain data instead of running their own node. Both of these services started when Ethereum was much smaller and when it was less resource intensive to index every transaction in the chain’s history. Now if a startup wanted to offer blockchain analytics services on Ethereum, they would need a considerable amount of upfront investment just for the storage and compute power necessary to crawl through everything. Developers and institutions on Mortar won’t face this barrier when looking to analyze real estate transaction data across the Mortar chain. The fact is that a large amount of volume on Ethereum today is from NFTs, bots, and legacy contracts – no real estate investor wants his or her property token sitting next to a bored ape. Furthermore, because Ethereum is designed to be an immutable ledger, all this data must be downloaded each time a new block is produced, meaning the storage requirements to run a node on Ethereum are rising exponentially.
Mortar chain is designed to only facilitate verified real estate transactions. Unlike current blockchains which accept any contract on-chain so long as gas fees are met and the code compiles, Mortar chain will only accept smart contracts which facilitate transactions surrounding real estate. To be accepted, new or updated smart contracts must first be submitted to the Mortar governance board for review where a security audit will be conducted and a member vote will take place. If approved, the contract will be submitted on chain and be available for public use. An important note is that Mortar will serve as the only member of this governance board for the indefinite future until we can ensure a secure democratized governance protocol.
A big focus of Mortar is to support the development of the entire tokenized asset ecosystem. In real estate and beyond there remains tons of locked equity and illiquidity, bottled up by middlemen who don’t provide value. We believe in a future where assets can be freely financed and transacted directly through protocols between buyer and seller.
By designing our chain from the ground up we can ensure a healthy growth of our ecosystem and security of tokenized properties, property data and investment portfolio positions. We can also build custom safety mechanisms into our chain like multi-sigs and rollbacks during beta if necessary. We are committed to decentralizing real estate transactions over time but we also believe it’s vitally important to protect people’s wealth and properties as we improve decentralized technology as a whole across the ecosystem.
There are two major challenges to this approach:
The first one is pretty straightforward – scalability solutions maintain the problem of a general lack of focus, potentially predatory or unsafe contracts, and noise. They will also likely be crowded and handling rapidly increasing volume over the coming years.
We chose to use Polygon’s Polygon-Edge solution as a template for our blockchain solution because 1) it is evm-compatible and 2) the team at Polygon has proven to be dedicated to scaling Ethereum in a decentralized manner.
Cosmos essentially offers blockchain as a service with nearly 50 blockchains running on the Cosmos Network. This is an interesting solution for the industry as a whole in that it supports the city-state thesis of blockchain scaling, however at this time Cosmos lacks customizability and network trust.
While you can always use Ethereum’s ERC-721 to tokenize a digital file as an NFT on any evm-compatible chain, Mortar is redefining how we tokenize assets and is in the process of developing industry-grade protocols that do much more than just securing a jpeg. The world of real-world asset tokenized finance is just beginning and a new layer of trust innovation is needed before we can create a truly liquid real estate market. Over the next decade we will see specialized blockchains emerge designed to facilitate unique asset classes and we believe the Mortar chain is strongly positioned to be the blockchain for trading real estate assets. We are still in the early stages of finalizing the first version of Mortar chain and are open to feedback from those who would take this journey with us towards mainnet launch.