In some countries, land registration is still rife with corruption and fraud, so governments and private companies are using blockchain registries to make the process more efficient and transparent.
When a land registration system is flawed, double-counting or illegal deregistration of land is common. This undermines trust in the state and slows the development of manufacturing, agriculture, and other commercial activities on that land. Simplified and improved documentation quality
Unlike ordinary objects, land cannot be sold just like that. A third party must always account for and verify the various transactions involved in the sale. But paper records have been insufficient for this purpose for a long time, and digital registries without additional technology are vulnerable to tampering. That's why states are using blockchain, an open public network.
Elimination of intermediaries, an accelerated process, and reduced costs
Stability and invulnerability of data
Transparency and accessibility of data for citizens
Georgia, Sweden, Brazil, India, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States, and other countries are already testing and implementing blockchain-based land registration systems.
One of the first states to implement blockchain in its land registry system was Georgia
. the system was based on a closed private blockchain where property rights, sales and purchases, leases, and mortgages can be registered. Georgian representatives are positive about the project and plan to expand blockchain systems to other areas of administration.
Sweden implemented a similar blockchain initiative
in 2018. The main problem it solved was the timing of transactions. Before this, the period between the signing of a contract and registering the rights was four months, even though the registry was digitized and contracts were also submitted in digital form. There is no data yet on whether a permanent solution will be built based on this experiment.
The blockchain solution was based on a private blockchain, as in Georgia, and the system used smart contracts to store records. Parties to the contract could access the blockchain records through a digital ID. Banks, real estate agents, and government employees could also access them through a special interface.
The third country to integrate blockchain into its land registry was Brazil. In this case, the land registry was not an established system: corruption, fraud, lack of documentation, and registered rights made it very difficult to work with land in this country.
In 2017, the country launched a pilot project in two municipalities. It used a SaaS blockchain solution including a web server and interface, and a shared real estate registry on the Colored Coins protocol
. When the project is complete, the Brazilian government plans to fully automate the land rights system.
People need legal certainty and a new type of documentation to confirm land ownership
The main challenge to implementing blockchain is the need to digitize land plots
Blockchain and a cluster of new technologies will transform our society gradually and naturally
Brazil's land registry problems were not unique. In Ghana, for example, 80% of land titles are undocumented. The country's government has a hard ban on cryptocurrencies, but officials are now working on reforms that would allow the use of blockchain in the non-financial sector. Although the government's practical use of blockchain is still frozen, local experts have already begun developing the BenBen blockchain registry
There are also completed successful projects. In Ukraine, a decentralized registry of land rights on the Ethereum blockchain
has been implemented and is fully operational. This makes it possible for all parties in the process to sign documents by using a bank ID or electronic signature. Each plot of land has a unique QR code with all data in the system. Since the implementation of the system, the cost of registering rights has become 65% cheaper and faster: now you can buy land in Ukraine within half an hour.
Pilot projects are now also being launched in Japan, some states of the USA, Canada, The Netherlands, and India.
Blockchain accounting projects are continuing all over the world. Mostly, governments are using private or a combination of private and public blockchains, but there are also examples of fully public registries.
Companies and international and governmental projects are still testing different models to find the most convenient and efficient ones. One extensive and lengthy process that preceded the implementation of blockchain projects was the digitization of real estate. Going forward, any implemented projects must be flexible and adapt to existing legal regulations.
The potential for the development of this technology is still huge. Infrastructure projects can be linked to decentralized land measurement systems to naturally regulate the supply of water, energy, and the construction of roads, hospitals, and other infrastructure facilities to save resources and protect the environment.
If everyone involved in the economic and legal process can make better decisions, act more quickly, and operate in an atmosphere of trust and legal certainty, the social and economic changes our society needs can occur more smoothly.
MediaArticlesHow blockchain is changing land registration in different countries