New South Wales Exploring Blockchain Tech for Land Registry

blockchain technology land registry New South Wales

The Australian state of New South Wales has announced it is considering taking property transactions digital, with a new pilot that would facilitate land registration on the blockchain.

New South Wales Land Registry Services has announced its intention to digitize the process of land registry, which is still primarily a paper-based system, and replace it with a blockchain record of ownership.

Responsible for recording property transactions, ownership and title deeds, the agency has partnered with a Swedish firm called ChromaWay to deliver a proof-of-concept (PoC) for the model.

The PoC will test feasibility and demonstrate a working model of land registration the agency hopes will eventually be rolled out for all property transactions in the state, thereby replacing the current paper-based registration system with an automated, immutable blockchain record of ownership.

According to ChromaWay, blockchain is the perfect technology for recording and managing rights in land.

“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.”

If the PoC is deemed a success, NSW Land Registry Services would then require the approval of state regulators before any new system could be introduced. However, with sufficient efficiency gains available, the hope is that the new system would be welcomed by lawmakers without difficulty.

The government of New South Wales is already examining blockchain technology in several other cases, including driver licensing, which could ultimately see motorists across the state and their licensing status recorded within a distributed ledger.

Similarly, governments and municipal authorities worldwide have been increasingly turning to blockchain solutions to improve their systems across a number of their processes.

Governments in Sweden and the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have explored the same technology for land registration, while authorities elsewhere are investigating blockchain elections, blockchain utilities and countless other processes that could benefit from digitization.

Initial trials are expected to run until early 2019, at which point the agency will turn to regulators for final approval ahead of deployment of the new blockchain model.