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Land Registry looks at blockchain

02/10/18

Mark Say Managing Editor

HM Land Registry has begun to explore the use of distributed ledger technology – otherwise known as blockchain – as part of its Digital Street programme.

Links in chain

It has said it is working with software company Methods to utilise R3’s Corda blockchain platform to understand how the technology could be used in the land registration process and the buying and selling of property.

The effort includes a team from Methods, R3, Blockchain Digital and their partner network.

John Reynolds, Blockchain Digital’s innovation and delivery director, said: “Digital Street and blockchain has the potential to synchronise and optimise the way all participants in the property market interact, from solicitors to banks, from surveyors to estate agents.

“Over the coming months, and in support of HM Land Registry’s commitment to open data and open innovation, we will be announcing a programme of innovation and collaboration events that enable the property ecosystem to join the Digital Street Community.”

Peter Rowlins, chief executive officer of Methods, said the Corda platform, although originally designed for financial services, could provide the security, privacy, interoperability and smart contract flow needed by Land Registry.

Digital Street is Land Registry’s research and development project designed to make buying and selling property simpler, quicker and cheaper through the innovative use of technology. It has already involved the creation of a digital register for a small selection of properties, which is a first step towards establishing a fully machine readable register that could be to be updated instantly.

In July Land Registry revealed it is aiming to complete the first fully digital transfer of a property inside the next year after building three prototypes under the Digital Street programme.

Image by Toni Lozano, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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