Tech

Ed Drake

Aussie state considers blockchain tech for land registry

A land registration agency in Australia is considering blockchain for recording property transactions, in the latest example of the technology being deploying in public administration.

New South Wales Land Registry Services, which operates title to land and is responsible for recording property transactions in the state, said it was launching a new proof-of-concept trial, local news outlet CIO reported. Providing the trial proves successful, the agency would then look to deploy the technology within New South Wales, as part of ongoing efforts to digitize public records at state government level.

The use case is yet another example of government and public sector agencies harnessing the power of blockchain technology to improve existing systems at a local level.

The agency announced it would partner with Swedish firm ChromaWay, which will help in running the initial trial. The results are expected early in 2019.

At present, property transactions are recorded manually by hand, in a labor-intensive process that authorities are keen to digitize. However, before a blockchain platform could be used in its place, regulators are required to give the all clear.

If the system is eventually rolled out to land transactions in NSW, it will replace paper records of property transactions as the definitive ledger of reference for land registration in the state.

A spokesperson for ChromaWay said the security and immutability of blockchain made it a perfect fit for the land registration use case, explaining: “It will provide a more complete and comprehensive view of land rights, restrictions, and responsibilities, which will streamline decision-making for government and land sector actors, provide increased information transparency, and reduce data duplication.”

Authorities in New South Wales are no strangers to experiments with blockchain, and this week’s announcement follows the launch of several similar programs in recent months.

In the last few weeks, it has been announced that New South Wales will be digitizing driving license records on a blockchain platform, replacing the current licensing process for all new and renewing drivers in the Aussie state. Now, with the addition of the land registration use case, the authorities in New South Wales are continuing to demonstrate the possibilities with blockchain technology.

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