The government of Sweden may become the first country to record and register land titles on the blockchain.
The Swedish Land Registry partnered with the blockchain startup, ChromaWay, along with consulting firm Kairos Future and telecommunications Telia in order to develop a proof of concept framework to digitize real estate transactions, as stated in the white paper. A technical demo has also been released.
Recordkeeping is very time consuming and can be mishandled. Introducing these smart contracts would eliminate the large amounts of paperwork, thereby reducing the amount of time to finalize a deal. Physical documents are constantly sent back and forth through the mail between the bank, real estate agent and title company for signatures and money transfers. Some of the documents are not even the original copies, most likely scanned documents. This entire process could take up to three months.
Utilizing smart contracts, paperwork is converted to a digital platform for real time transactions while also securing the property quicker.
Stated in ChromaWay’s white paper, “Digital contracts also reduce the risk of registering incorrect information and the inability to get title deed, the confirmation from the Land registry of ownership of the land. The proposed solution would make Sweden the front runner in this field.”
Henrik Hjelte, CEO ChromaWay, explained to Bitcoin Magazine tokens representing the houses or property will not go on the blockchain. Instead, the new procedure will change the workflow and incorporate existing records.
"What we are doing is modeling the workflow of selling a house,” Hjelte tells the publication. “The buyers, sellers, land registry, real estate agents all see the same information. Only the parties involved can see the information, and need to see it. A digital identity system is administered by Telia, and digital signatures are used to verify all the steps in selling a house.”
Sweden is no the only country interested in using blockchain technology to upgrade their land registry process.
In April, the bitcoin mining and technology company, Bitfury, signed a deal with the National Agency of Public Registry in the Republic of Georgia to help develop a program to registering land title on the blockchain.