December 5, 2023

Among the possible applications of blockchain technology, real estate bonds — a small piece of legal land that many people might consider just while doing the paperwork of buying a home — might not seem like the top of the list.

Land titles do not include digital goods or cryptocurrencies, but these records have features that can lend themselves to digital ledger storage: they are created through interactions of people and companies that often have no prior relationship, they require long-term storage and trust, and they often remain confined to paper records.

Because of the non-trivial amounts at stake in most land transactions, participants have to pay third parties to check records.

“We still have something called property insurance, where someone has to go out, go to the local municipality, look up a paper address on file, and then, you know, pay the attorney,” said Arthur Williams III. Senior Executive Vice President of Digital Innovation at Wells Fargo, in A panel about the possibilities of the blockchain At the Collision Tech conference in Toronto in June. “I think these are the kinds of places where blockchain can be really effective in increasing efficiency.”

A rural area in the southwest corner of Virginia is now trying to do something like this. Wise County The Smart Land Records Project aims to Storing land titles on a proprietary blockchain-like systemwith each change is statically logged.

“You can’t delete these smart records,” said David Fitzgerald, founder and CEO. Blockable, an Arlington-based company that is working with Wise County on this project. “They are there for future generations.”

The project stores these real estate addresses in Amazon Web Services (AWS)” Quantitative ledger databasea hosting arrangement that Fitzgerald said lacks decentralization to a true blockchain but has fulfilled its customers’ desire to retain more control over their records than a public distributed blockchain would allow.

“This is a blockchain-like ledger that we think is as secure as we can get — and very economical because it is on AWS,” he said of the plan. To date, more than 1,200 addresses have been written into this ledger system.

Security is important because the property right happens. Success in creating a fake address and getting it locked allows it Scammer sells property he doesn’t own at 100% profit margin.

Fitzgerald said that the immutability of blockchain records, where every change is jointly recorded by nodes in the blockchain, makes it easier to detect this type of theft. What if an error is not caught before the address is written in the immutable ledger? The system allows Wise County to write a new record on top of the old record, which is displayed first but does not erase or erase the old record.

The other part of this project involves automating the file creation process “Summary / s” which summarizes property ownership and (in Virginia) its value from the last 40 years of transactions. The project aims to develop machine learning systems to prepare at least part of these summaries, a task that today, Fitzgerald said, requires about three hours of work by trained professionals.

Property practitioners may lose, but the elected official overseeing this project expected property buyers to win if it made this property insurance cheaper — or unnecessary.

Jack Kennedy, a writer on “The Bull Most Likely to Be Butchered Is Property Insurance” County Wise and City of Norton Circuit Court. He added that the relative smallness of Wise County — Census 2020 It registered 36,130 residents and 16,644 housing units – making it a suitable setting for these research and development efforts. In a conversation in May, he estimated the county’s costs at about $200,000, some of which was paid by a state-run tech trust for county employees.

No real estate agent in Central Virginia has expressed objection to the prospect of making ownership uncertainty out of date.

“Theoretically, it makes a lot of sense to have one way we can know without a doubt how the title was acquired, transferred, and sold.” Jim Duncan, a partner at Nest Realty in Charlottesville. “I like the concept of owning a blockchain as that one source of ownership.”

Wendy Henry, Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets at Deloitte Consulting, said in an email Other Efforts to Store Land Titles on Blockchain Systems not grabbed. For example, Cook County, Illinois, did not complete a 2016 pilot project, which it said reflects the difficulty of migrating data.

Henry suggested that the best use cases for land titles stored in the blockchain would be in countries outside the US with less reliable records and more government corruption. “Having an immutable and reliable registry is a huge benefit,” she wrote.

Douglas Heintzmann, the main catalyst in Blockchain Research Institutea think tank in Toronto, agrees.

“The biggest impact of title registries currently is in geographic areas where there has been a lot of corruption in government offices, and as a result, there is little confidence in the authenticity of addresses,” he said in an email.

But as noted in a 2019 OECD Report Heintzmann noted in his email that blockchain efforts in Georgia, Ghana and Honduras also had steeper hills to climb due to a lack of trust in government. The need for digital ledger verification may not be very high in southwest Virginia, but the government is also asking fewer of its constituents to transition to what it hopes will be a more flexible and cost-effective system.

Kennedy emphasized the effective government angle in a Web3 free evangelism interview.

“It’s a practical problem,” Kennedy said. “This has a practical, everyday application that can only get better.”

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