Swedish land agency Lantmäteriet has commissioned the first full-scale investigation into blockchain technology specifically for land registry purposes. Following promising results, the Scandavaian nation is expected to begin trails of the technology in real land transactions.
Blockchain is the system underpinning digital currency Bitcoin that has recently piqued the interest both of those within the surveying community as described by Position magazine founding editor Jon Fairall. Australia’s digital research body Data61, part of CSIRO, is currently investigating the wider potential of the technology.
Whereas typically a Swedish land transaction will require physical documents such as contracts, bill of sale and credit documents, a transaction using the proposed solution will represent a more simplified and equally—if not more—secure form of transaction.
Blockchain can actually be considered the most secure solution available since the technology regulates and controls the workflow and digital signage. The framework itself verifies documents and designates the order of authorisation based on a system of storing digital signatures. The signatures are unique for every document, register and process step, hence becoming a verification comparable to a human fingerprint.
“Digital documentation of property transfers and good technology will enable confirmation for all parties in a real estate transaction of highest level of security,” said Mats Snäll, head of development, real estate registration at Lantmäteriet. “Being able to assign pending title deed is also something of value for all parties.”
“Everyone will benefit from this,” Snäll said.
Sweden’s Lantmäteriet has been working on the project with a multi-disciplined team consisting of Swedish blockchain technology company ChromaWay, digital consultants Kairos Future and telecommunications provider Telia.
Stockholm-based ChromaWay are pioneers of blockchain technology having received rankings among the world’s leading firms in the area.
“ChromaWay was the first organisation in the world with solutions for registering contractual processes in the blockchain,” said Henrik Hjelte, ChromaWay CEO. “We are proud to contribute to establish the technology for real estate transactions, an area we have been looking at for a long time.”
A proof of concept has been developed with a report and a technical demo (currently available only in Swedish) showing the solution and the benefits for society.
The team has indicated that the first step in the project is now finished with a positive outcome. The next step is to further investigate the technology in a test environment with real estate agents and banks involved.