by Lumai Mubanga
Malicious attackers, poor record-keeping, government corruption and natural disasters have made land management and real estate management a real challenge. How is the blockchain technology being applied to solve some of these problems?
Specific countries and companies have started innovations that have seen the application of blockchain technology in real estate management. For example, Ghana, Sweden and India are some of the countries spearheading these innovations. Any startup companies have responded to this challenge as well such as chromaway and propy.
Blockchain has found its foot primarily when it comes to land rights. Real estate industry is being revolutionized by blockchain in this specific area. This has resulted in blockchain land registry projects propping up in Sweden, Ghana and India.
Natural disasters have wreaked havoc on many current systems that rely largely on paper deeds, which are extremely frustrating to keep track of and are often lost for good. Forgery, incomplete and usually unsecured paperwork have caused any challenges when there is need for such estates need to change hands because the details are simply lacking and insufficient resulting in delayed processing and court cases due to double ownership. Changing or selling such estates become difficult and strenuous.
You can only be confident of a land title if it is available, valid and persistent. However, corruption levels have invalidated most of these documents. Blockchain is set to upset all these inconsistencies thereby building confidence in property owners.
In order to achieve this, the blockchain solution creates a hash of every land registry and store that hash on-chain. The person with the corresponding private key is the only one who can claim ownership of the corresponding land title. Changing any details on any part of the land title cannot be done without alerting the entire nodes on the network. This is because of the tamper-evident nature of blockchain and cryptographic hashes.
Since every node on the network has a copy of the registry data, it becomes impossible for malicious attackers or natural disasters like floods, earthquakes of fire to completely obliterate or block anyone from accessing them. This ensures the permanency of these records. The same applies to the tie taken to transfer such asserts. Blockchain will reduce that time hundred fold.
To put that into context, take an example of Sweden’s Lantmäteriet. Working in conjunction with blockchain startup Chromaway, they claim that their prototype cut a digital land registry’s lag from 3-6 months to a few hours all because of online transactions.
More companies including Propy are exploring this application and launched pilot projects some time back in a city in Vermont. Zebi Data, an Indian blockchain startup partnering with the states of Maharashtra and Telangana for similar projects.
With an increased real recognition in the real estate business, blockchain technology sees to be getting a wider acceptance and application.