blockchain

Sweden Might Be the First Country to Adopt Blockchain Title Registry

Sweden seems to be making significant progress towards adopting a blockchain backed property title process. If they are able to make this switch they could show the world the benefits of having a secure ledger for land ownership. In the U.S. alone the title insurance industry, whos whole existance could be replaced by a trusted store of information, collects around $15 billion in revenue every year.

A lot of countries have plans to do the same including India, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya. But these bureaucratic governments have shown to be quick to issue a press release and slow to actually make the switch. The Republic of Georgia has been storing new sales on a blockchain ledger for about a year, but with only 1 million land titles on the system, they are far from converted.

At first glance, this goes against a theory that is talked about a lot at the IBREA conferences, that blockchain title conveyance, like digital banking, could be adopted first by less-developed countries. While it is true that countries that have more corruption and fraud could benefit more from a transparent, tamper-proof system, those countries also tend to be less-than-responsive to change.

Even though Sweden already has a paperless, digitized registry, there is still room for a lot of improvement. An archaic law bans digital signatures for land titles, which requires buyers to be present in the country during the purchase. They also take three to six months to record, a timeline that could be reduced to mere hours if the system were run on blockchain.

Will the country that gave the world Ikea and it’s self-proclaimed “democratic design” furniture be the one to lead the way on blockchain technology for land registry? Or will they too struggle to make all of the pieces fit?

Propmodo is a global multimedia effort to explore how emerging technologies affect our built environment.

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