Sweden has successfully completed a pilot where land registry copies are shared with all relevant parties to facilitate property purchases with each step of the sale being verified and recorded on the blockchain.
Mats Snäll, Sweden’s land registry head of development, told ComputerWeekly that the small-scale pilot proved the system works, before adding:
“Of course, we have to try it on a wider scale and have more partners to see it also works with a larger number of transactions, but we haven’t come up against anything so far that argues against this technology.”
The project has been in development since last year when an annual report briefly mentioned their plans to explore blockchain technology, stating:
“Blockchain technology would mean that lead times disappear and that the process that today can take months to carry out, can virtually take place while you wait.”
They claim an upgrade to the system would save Swedish taxpayers $100 million a year though faster processing and by eliminating the inefficiencies of paper-based systems through automation, but the system isn’t expected to go live anytime soon.
“I think from 2020 we will start to see blockchain solutions in real estate agencies,” Snäll said, with the technology needing some more time to mature in scalability.
Nonetheless, this is the first successful completion of a pilot for blockchain based land registries in the developed world. Since it has been successful, others will probably follow as the decentralized nature of blockchain tech can significantly speed up the sale process.
Towards that end, some start-ups are trying to provide solutions for blockchenized property listings or even tokenized property trading, with one of them being Rex, which hopes to turn a piece of the Chrysler building into a token you can just buy and sell.
Industry, however, needs the assistance of centralized bodies, such as land registries, to fully take advantage of blockchain tech because someone needs to verify the authenticity of inputs.
Once that verification process is completed, the land registry entry turns into dynamic code you can program and ask to do many things, including that of transforming itself into a token or binding itself to a contract.
That could have significant effects in property liquidity, allowing for the market to potentially respond much faster to supply and demand, while also considerably reducing processing times and costs.