Land registry on Blockchain

According to  a report here, two municipalities in Brazil are trying to put their land registries on a public “colored coin” Blockchain. This is not the first instance – Sweden is at the second phase of its implementation of the Blockchain for its land records. Such a move is supposed to save the public exchequer somewhere between $100 million and $200 million.

Two years – ago- at an invited seminar at Takshashila foundation – a policy think tank , I had suggested idea of putting up land records on the Blockchain, in big counties. One of the largest sources of dysfunctional (or inefficient) societal institutions globally is this one factor –  the asymmetric competition for  natural resources such as land, that lead to inefficient transactions. More so in developing economies, where urban land (and other resources such as wireless spectrums, waterways, etc.) is rare, and demand is so high that prices are unjustifiable.

This leads to several problems – chief among st them corruption in land bureaus, land grabbing, illegal occupation, sale of zoned land, occupation of lake beds, etc…  With a Blockchain (and alt-coins) based approach this entire registry and series of transactions – not only becomes transparent, but also eliminates the unwanted middle men or official who sits in the land registration office.

Transactions, can, at some point happen directly between the buyers and sellers, with a proper record of the transaction being stored perennially on a publicly accessible – secure and verifiable-ledger. Not only can sale deeds be recorded on the Blockchain, but also, contracts for long term leases and other “specialized” contracts can reside on the Blockchain.

I am sure, after this pilot, many other states, counties and countries will seriously consider moving their land registries onto an alt-coin backed “public” Blockchain.  Transforming land based transactions will be the very first step at stemming large unaccounted cash flows globally.