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07-02: Will Blockchain Technology Revolutionize Land Administration?
Blockchain-Based Land Administration, feasible, illusory or a panacea?
Dutch Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (Kadaster), Netherlands, The
October 31st 2015, the Economist wrote an article about the use of Blockchain as a ‘Trust Machine’, stating: “The spread of blockchains is bad for anyone in the “trust business” (…), such as (…) government authorities that are deemed sufficiently trustworthy to handle transactions”.
In this paper we describe the possible use of blockchain technology in Land Administration. Among other recent developments in the field of blockchain technology (technical maturity, hard fork) and Governance (DAO, hacks), we describe the relationship between Person, Objects and Rights in a Land Administration system and the complexity within these three elements: identity of a person, legal diversity ('bundle of rights') and the diversity in objects (including the possible use of bitsquares).
One of the central elements in this paper will be the principles of Good Governance in Land Administration. Are these principles met in a Blockchain-based system of Land Administration, developed and tested in various countries? The proposed system needs transparency, accountability, security (rule of law) and consistency. Is the technique (already) mature enough and is it feasible for Developing countries? It needs to be Fit For Purpose. Depending on the various (legal) systems, do we need (all) current actors in Land Administration processes?
Blockchain and Land Register - A New "Trust Machine"?
Lantmäteriet, the Swedish Mapping, Cadaster and Land Registration Authority, Sweden
Systems; legal as well as technical; for land registration and cadaster are built on trust and confidence for the public held processes for securing rights and information about property. Many national systems has taken centuries to build and some has not even started. The digitization and information era has increased the pace of development and even fairly new IT-systems must be changed in order to work according to demands from the new generation of the general public, citizens and companies using the public services.
Sometimes inventions like Internet, social media or Blockchain comes up and make bigger impacts to what we do. The blockchain technology is very much spoken of these days and some say it is the "new Internet thing". This contribution reflects on some land administration issues relating to the new technology based on experiences from a Swedish project where the Land Registry tried the blockchain.
Setting Up a Real-estate Pilot
ChromaWay http://www.chromaway.com have pioneered blockchain since 2012, when our CTO made the first implementation in the world of code that allows you to issue assets on the (bitcoin) blockchain. This was one of or even the first protocol that made financial institutions interested in blockchain. In 2014 we started ChromaWay.
ChromaWay are now the sole blockchain company working in a project comprised of companies and banks in nordics which involves SBAB, Landshypotek bank, Telia company and the Swedish land registry (We’re working now to add a couple of more institutions in the Nordics). We released a real-estate pilot which can be seen here: http://www.chromaway.com/landregistry and in March 2017 we’re launching a sandbox based on our product configured real-estate transactions, mortgages and property titles together with our banking partners. This Sandbox will be tested by the land registry out of a security, legal and business perspective.
Blockchain – Can This New Technology Really Revolutionize The Land Registry System?
1Federal Chamber of German Civil Law Notaries (BNotK); 2The Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE); 3International Notarial Cooperation Commission (CCNI)/ (UINL); 4Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE); 5Ordre de Géomètres-Experts (OGE)
Some claim that a blockchain-based approach to registering property titles could increase the efficiency of conveyancing significantly and even prevent fraud. It is also said that property transactions could be handled on a blockchain in a similar way to payments between parties using digital currencies. Last year a project to blockchain the land register of Honduras was launched to give the owners of the nearly 60 percent of undocumented land an incentive to register their property officially. Apparently the project has stalled. But there are more developing countries considering blockchain a suitable technology to build their land registry system on. However, any decision to use the blockchain technology for land registries should be preceded by a thorough assessment of its risks and legal impacts. There are good reasons why most land register systems are kept by the government or other public agencies. Trusted third parties such as notaries and surveyors who are strictly supervised by government agencies have to make sure that the information entered into the register is accurate and complete. But who would be liable if damage is caused by false entries in the blockchain-based system? And who would be able to control the input into the blockchain?
Blockchain’s Struggle to Deliver Impersonal Exchange
Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
With its decentralized peer-to-peer structure, application of the blockchain technology underpinning Bitcoin holds the promise of making impersonal exchange possible for all types of old and new transactions in all types of markets. Such theoretical promise is examined here by identifying what value blockchain adds to the contractual process, exploring its contractual potential and analyzing the main difficulties it is facing.
The article argues that blockchain applications will evolve towards dual structures separating causal and formal transactions. Contrary to naive conceptions that proclaim the end of intermediaries and state involvement, such applications will rely on a variety of interface and enforcement specialists, including standard public interventions, especially for property transactions. Without these interventions, blockchain will at most work as an in personam—instead of as an in rem—system, therefore facilitating mere personal instead of impersonal transactions.
Using Blockchain in Georgia
National Agency of Public Registry, Georgia
Georgia is one of the first countries in the world using the Blockchain technology for immovable property registration.
The works on integrating registration services in Blockchain started in 2016. The first phase of cooperation with the BitFury Group involved development of the pilot project on using blockchain technology for immovable property registration, which has been successfully completed.
Since 2017, NAPR moved to the second phase of implementation of Blockchain technology, which envisages enactment of the pilot project and introduction of the "smart-contracts".
Information about the extract on any immovable property is automatically sent to the Blockchain system. It is impossible to delete, alter, rewrite or illegally manipulate the data stored in Blockchain.
The innovation means to assign a special hash to the immovable property extract. The hash is a sequence of symbols, which is unique for each document if the same algorithm is used. The identical hashes in the Blockchain system and NAPR website confirm authenticity of the extract. The old extracts, i.e. those prepared till 20th of February, 2017, are possible to store in the Blockchain system only upon their renewal.
Consequently, with Blockchain, NAPR makes information on immovable property even more secure, transparent and accessible around the world.