Your great-grandfather bought a piece of land that now belongs to your parents and nobody has any documents of it and nobody can prove who it belongs to – only history and tradition tell you that it belongs to your family. The land is now worth $500,000 and nobody can use it or sell it… Yes, it might not be a situation relevant to you but it is to many people around the world. This problem was estimated to be worth $20 trillion. The processes to solve this are so costly and time-consuming that the majority of people will probably just leave it there, useless and abandoned. This is where a blockchain land registry can become an essential tool and not just a fancy, hyped technology.
Georgia blockchain land registry project to the rescue
The Republic of Georgia government is teaching the world how to adopt new technologies to solve old problems, and they became the first national government to validate official actions on the Bitcoin blockchain by leveraging the Exonum blockchain platform developed by Bitfury. The method is very simple: through a mixture of private and public blockchains.
All the registrations are made, firstly, on a private ledger, the so-called blockchain land registry. Finally, they are verified through the Bitcoin blockchain and can enjoy all the benefits we already know about blockchain including immutability, auditability, transparency, and security. The next steps might be to incorporate smart contracts into real estate processes such as property sales, transfers of ownership, rental agreements, mortgages, and any other possible operations one can think of in this sector.
India and Sweden on the right track
The adoption of good ideas usually doesn’t takes a long time and the United Nations Development Programme is now implementing a blockchain land registry in Panchkula, India, to fight the high levels of distrust in the current system. According to their report, among the advantages of this initiative is the fact that the blockchain would represent “an immutable history of transactional records”, meaning that the “records are permanently linked to the system” and that the “records can be seen by any party, at any time”.
On the Swedish case, the first two trial stages are completed and there were already properties registered using ChromaWay’s private blockchain.
The first transaction is soon to be made and this will shorten a process that can take between 3 to 6 months, just from the signing of a contract until the registration of a sale. With the new system, the process can take one hour to be completed, saving everyone’s time but also reducing the registration costs.
Technology has been improving people’s lives for a long time and this is just another step to the full adoption of blockchain across many industries. The fact that this functionality is already so advanced just adds credit to the technology and validates its legitimacy.
The progress is real, governments are involved, developers are working very hard and blockchain is clearly no longer just about cryptocurrencies.