Blockchain deal bodes ill for conveyancers – Law Society Gazette

By Michael Cross    October 16, 2017

A Swansea dentist is the first property buyer in the UK to exchange contracts digitally in a process which its promoters claim has the potential to remove the need for solicitors in transactions. The buyer acquired a £700,000 commercial property in Trowbridge in an online deal secured by blockchain digital encryption technology. This is a system for rendering blocks of data tamper-proof by distributing them across ‘shared ledgers’. It is best known for underpinning the bitcoin virtual currency.

Blockchain is also being investigated by law firms and insurers as a way of creating ‘smart’ contracts, the terms of which are activated automatically on receipt of trigger information.

The Trowbridge transaction was conducted through Clicktopurchase.com, which was set up by London property investment agency Singer Vielle. The agency already conducts sales online, secured with electronic signatures compatible with the European eIDAS regulation. However chief executive Neil Singer said that blockchain could transform the process by securing all details of the transaction in a tamper-proof form and that blockchain is a ‘game changer’.

‘It is a technology which will bring speed, ease and certainty. It makes a process more efficient and removes intermediaries,’ Singer said. Last week’s purchase was completed three days after the property went on the market, in a transaction that was recorded across a blockchain-secured shared ledger in four seconds.

More at: Blockchain deal bodes ill for conveyancers – Law Society Gazette

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All land transactions in Dubai to be conducted through the blockchain – Information Age

By Nick Ismail    October 12, 2017

Dubai’s Land Department has just announced it is the world’s first government entity to conduct all land transactions through a Blockchain network

Dubai’s land registrar is developing a system that would record all local real estate contracts on a blockchain. This is part of a wider project to secure all government documents on a blockchain by 2020.

 Blockchain is becoming more popular among businesses thanks to its traceability, and with companies like Dragonchain helping small and medium sized businesses get into Blockchain technology, it is now accessible to more people than ever before. With Dubai taking up the flag for Blockchain, it is a matter of time before other governments across the world get on board with this technology.

More at: All land transactions in Dubai to be conducted through the blockchain – Information Age

Blockchain Technology: Inevitable Disruption or Inflated Hype? – JDSupra

The virtual currency Bitcoin has gained notoriety and intrigued entrepreneurs, finance magnates and governments. Lauded and criticized for its ability to offer relatively fast, inexpensive and nearly anonymous transactions, Bitcoin ushered in a new era of Fintech innovation. For example, it paved the way for the development of other virtual currencies such as Ethereum, Monero and Dash.

Although various virtual currencies offer different features and purport to serve different purposes, most share one key attribute: the blockchain. This article offers a high-level overview of blockchain technology and how it might impact industries such as finance, insurance, smart contracts, real estate and logistics.

More at: Blockchain Technology: Inevitable Disruption or Inflated Hype? – JDSupra

Russia is ‘Considering’ Blockchain Tech for Real Estate

Russian authorities are looking into the possibility of registering real estate and housing projects on a blockchain.

According to a regional report, the Russian Ministry of Communications is considering the use of blockchain technology for agencies including the Federal Registration Service, a federal executive body that records registration of rights to real estate and all related transactions.

Speaking to reporters, Nikolai Nikiforov – head of the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation stated:

[W]e are considering the use of blockchain in the work of such agencies as the Federal Registration Service. Automatic real estate transactions, in particular, are considered as a pilot project for the use of blockchain in transactions related to equity construction and joint housing development.

A similar effort is already taking shape in Japan, where the government is looking to consolidate all real estate data into one viewable data record on a blockchain.

Source: Russia is ‘Considering’ Blockchain Tech for Real Estate

Sweden Officially Started Using Blockchain to Register Land and Properties – The Cointelegraph

Lantmäteriet, the land registry of Sweden, officially started to utilize Blockchain technology to register land and properties.

Since early 2017, various countries including Brazil have begun to utilize Blockchain technology to facilitate the ownership of land and properties in a decentralized, transparent and immutable network.

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Mats Snäll, Lantmäteriet’s head of development, revealed that the Swedish land registry has been actively investing in Blockchain technology and developing a proof-of-concept Blockchain platform since 2016.

In March of this year, Lantmäteriet completed the initial phase of trials of its Blockchain-based land and properties registry platform.

Snäll said:

“When we heard about Blockchain and its supposed benefits, we wanted to explore whether this is an actual next-generation technology we could use for registries. We have to try it on a wider scale and have more partners to see it also works with a larger number of transactions, but we haven’t come up against anything so far that argues against this technology.”

Source: Sweden Officially Started Using Blockchain to Register Land and Properties – The Cointelegraph

Sweden trials blockchain for land registry management – Computerweekly.com

Swedish land registry is trying out blockchain as a means of proving ownership.

Sweden’s land registry authority, Lantmäteriet, has put blockchain’s promises of transparent and tamper-proof transaction records to the test by implementing a pilot system for recording property-related transactions.

The blockchain-based testbed, which concluded in March, followed Lantmäteriet’s proof-of-concept study in 2016.

“When we heard about blockchain and its supposed benefits, we wanted to explore whether this is an actual next-generation technology we could use for registries,” Mats Snäll, Lantmäteriet’s head of development, told Computer Weekly.

The technology for the project was developed by Swedish blockchain startup ChromaWay using a private blockchain – which only authorised parties can access – and a smart contract application to automatically manage the transactions recorded on the blockchain.

More at: Sweden trials blockchain for land registry management – Computerweekly.com

‘End Poverty, Restore Trust’: World Bank Dives into Blockchain with Lab Launch – CoinDesk

The world’s largest multilateral development bank is launching a blockchain lab as part of a bid to pilot projects that can improve governance and social outcomes in the developing world.

The World Bank, based in Washington, DC, officially launched the venue Tuesday morning to serve as a forum for learning, experimentation and collaboration on distributed ledger technology. The blockchain lab will now seek to bring together internal and external participants to work on blockchain use cases of significance to the bank’s more than 80 client countries.

Core focus areas will include land registry, digital identity, aid distribution and financial infrastructure.

More at: ‘End Poverty, Restore Trust’: World Bank Dives into Blockchain with Lab Launch – CoinDesk