Medici Land Governance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Overstock, has signed an agreement with the World Bank to design, implement and evaluate pilot programs which blockchenize land rights.
“Joining forces with Medici Land Governance allows the Bank to provide our client countries access to cutting edge technology, work with the countries on adapting the technology to their context, and then document the impact of the updated process,” Klaus Deininger, Lead Economist at the World Bank, said.
In a statement on Wednesday, Overstock said lack of property rights documentations in developing countries hinders economic development due to little protection against land grabs, inability to prove ownership when entrepreneurs apply for credit and due to insufficient information when collecting taxes or for urban planning.
This creates an environment where fraud and corruption can thrive, they say, with Overstock’s own tZero blockchain platform so aiming to address some of the problems.
“I have long viewed land and property governance as an application of blockchain technology that has far-reaching implications,” Patrick M. Byrne, founder and Chairman of Medici Land Governance, and founder and CEO of its parent company, Overstock, said before adding:
“From the positive social change it can foster, to its potential to empower individuals financially, to the promise it holds for the economic development of entire nations, blockchain can help the developing world secure the property rights infrastructure needed to overcome many of its challenges.”
Details are sparse, however, with little explanation as to how exactly they plan to blockchenize land ownership rights and the Medici website having little, if any, technical overview.
But this is one of many projects that is trying to use blockchain’s immutable qualities to record documents in a way one can be sure of their authenticity.
The bitcoin mining firm, Bitfury, for example, partnered with Georgia’s government to utilize blockchain tech for securing property rights, with 100,000 such property titles registered on the bitcoin blockchain last year.
Propy, an ethereum based project, is utilizing the blockchain for the sale of properties, while a number of other projects are trying to tokenize land in addition to securing property rights.
All is very much in the early stages of development, but the involvement of the World Bank in this project is quite interesting because it should hopefully provide us with follow up reports to say how it all panned out.
While Overstock has been one of the earliest adopter of cryptos and blockchain tech, starting with their acceptance of bitcoin payments in 2014 which led a trend of merchant adoption.