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A conceptual framework for blockchain smart contract adoption to manage real estate deals in smart cities


Blockchains-based smart contracts are disrupting the smart real estate sector of the smart cities. The current study explores the literature focused on blockchain smart contracts in smart real estate and proposes a conceptual framework for its adoption in smart cities. Based on a systematic review method, the literature published between 2000 and 2020 is explored and analyzed. From the literature, ten key aspects of the blockchain smart contracts are highlighted that are grouped into six layers for adopting the smart contracts in smart real estate. The decentralized application and its interactions with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) are presented to show the development of a smart contract that can be used for blockchain smart contracts in real estate. Further, a detailed design and interaction mechanism are highlighted for the real estate owners and users as parties to a smart contract. A list of functions for initiating, creating, modifying, or terminating a smart contract is presented along with a stepwise procedure for establishing and terminating smart contracts. The current study can help the users enjoy a more immersive, user-friendly, and visualized contracting process, whereas the owners, property technologies (Proptech) companies, and real estate agents can enjoy more business and sales. This can help disrupt traditional real estate and transform it into smart real estate in line with industry 4.0 requirements.

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Data availability

Data are available with the corresponding author and can be made available upon reasonable request

Code availability

Codes are available with the corresponding author and can be made available upon reasonable request


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The authors are grateful to Mr. Bilal Ayub (Ph.D. Scholar RMIT University) and Dr. Tayyab Ahmad UniMelbourne for their kind comments and advice on improving the paper while the authors were waiting for reviewers’ comments. The academic community helps add substantial value to the body of knowledge, and we are grateful to have such people around. We are also thankful to Dr. Samad Sepasgozar and Dr. Jamaluddin Thaheem for their encouragement and guidance.


The article received no funding from any private or government organization.

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Appendix A

Authors, citations, year, and type of the retrieved articles.

Authors Retrieved Citation Google Scholar Citation Publication Year Type Ref
Watanabe H., Fujimura S., Nakadaira A., Miyazaki Y., Akutsu A., Kishigami J 101 165 2016 Conference [36]
Amani S., Bortin M., Bégel M., Staples M 64 125 2018 Conference [34]
Wright C., Serguieva A 15 25 2017 Conference [37]
Molina-Jimenez C., Sfyrakis I., Solaiman E., Ng I., Weng Wong M., Chun A., Crowcroft J 14 29 2018 Conference [47]
Sun M., Zhang J 7 11 2020 Journal [23]
Kolluri A., Nikolic I., Sergey I., Hobor A., Saxena P 6 32 2019 Conference [46]
Dewan S., Singh L 2 2 2020 Journal [19]
Falazi G., Hahn M., Breitenbucher U., Leymann F., Yussupov V 2 5 2019 Conference [35]
Covaci A., Madeo S., Motylinski P., Vincent S 2 4 2018 Conference [57]

Appendix B

Affiliated organizations, their locations, and citations of the retrieved articles.

Organization Location Documents Citations
Nchain London, UK 2 17
Muroran Institute of Technology, Muroran-city Hokkaido, Japan 1 101
NTT service evolution laboratories, Yokosuka-city Kanagawa, japan 1 101
Data61 (CSIRO), UNSW NSW, Australia 1 64
Ens Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Saclay Paris, France 1 64
Codex, Stanford University Stanford, US 1 14
Computer laboratory, University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK 1 14
Hat community foundation Cambridge, UK 1 14
School of Computing, Newcastle University Newcastle, UK 1 14
Singapore Management University Singapore 1 14

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Ullah, F., Al-Turjman, F. A conceptual framework for blockchain smart contract adoption to manage real estate deals in smart cities. Neural Comput & Applic (2021).

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  • Blockchain
  • Smart contracts
  • Smart real estate management
  • Smart cities
  • Smart contract implementation
  • Smart contract design