Blockchain for Land Registry
Millions of people across the world don’t have legal registered titles for their homes, land and businesses. They can’t be certain that their ownership rights will be protected by law. If they had registered titles, according to Hernando De Soto, it would unlock $9.3 trillion in assets (Soto, 2000).
Uncertainty breeds disputes and makes it difficult or impossible to borrow against assets – that is, you can’t get a mortgage or loan. If $9.3 trillion could have been unlocked in 2000, my guesstimate is that today we’re talking north of $20 trillion. Greece was one of two European countries without a land register in 2005, and across West Africa, about 97% of land is not held by written title.
With some personal experience of the pain caused by the above (long story, for another time), I’m advising on a land registry project that will be based on a blockchain platform.
Blockchain is is a type of ledger that cannot be tampered with and therefore, by adapting it for land registry, it could reduce property fraud and disputes. In some countries, with current systems, the title ownership update process sometimes takes months or years. Blockchain ledgers could do this within seconds. Sweden upgraded their land registry to a “blockchain powered” version. Russia, India and Dubai are moving in the same direction.
Looking forward to hearing about your experiences of the land registry processes and legislation in Europe or West Africa, especially Nigeria and Ghana.
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