Blockchain blir stadig omtalt som datasikkerhet på et nytt nivå, og det offentlige oppfordres til å ta det i bruk. Hvordan angår det egentlig deg og meg?
Har du ikke helt forstått greia med blockchain, er du ikke alene. En studie fra HSBC viser at 80% av de som har hørt om blockchain ikke vet hvordan det fungerer, eller hva det egentlig er. Litt lengre ned i artikkelen finner du en god forklaring, men for nå- Blockchain er den underliggende teknologien bak Bitcoin.
I fjor sa Svein Ølnes i Veslandsforskning at Bitcoins blockchain sannsynligvis er det sikreste online IT-systemet verden har sett, og at det alene gjør at man bør vurdere å ta det i bruk på mange områder i det offentlige.
Digi.no siterte ham i sammenhengen på at “blokkjedeteknologien handler om mye mer enn Bitcoin. Blokkjeden er i sin essens et bevis av eierskap, enten noe digitalt eller noe fysisk” Dette kan ha stor betydning for hvordan det dokumenteres for hvem som eier en eiendom.
Tidlig i 2017 ble en hytte på Blefjell tinglyst under falskt navn, og forsøkt solgt videre. Da den opprinnelige eieren av hytta oppdaget hva som var i ferd med å skje, var tinglysingen allerede godkjent av Kartverket. Eieren måtte gå til domstol for å få tilbakeført hytta til rettmessige eier, da påstanden om en forfalsket signatur i utgangspunktet bare er en påstand. Les videre for å få mer innsikt i hvordan blockchain kan forhindre slike hendelser, og kanskje bli verdens sikreste IT-system.
Why you should care about your land title moving to blockchain
written by: Nikkita Dixon
The evolution of our digital lives seems to follow a pattern. A breakthrough occurs and is swiftly followed by an explosion in innovation. First we had the rollout of the electricity grid; then the invention of the computer and the mobile phone; then the Internet; and now it seems we may have reached another tipping point thanks to blockchain. The digital registry technology is opening up possibilities for the digitisation of the many societal activities still trapped in the age of hand-signed paperwork (election voting, financial services, supply chains etc.).
One application which is starting to gain momentum is the use of blockchain to do away with the current system of land registry which is sluggish, expensive, inefficient and vulnerable to fraud. Having a blockchain recording the transactions makes such forgeries almost impossible and does away with many of the middlemen involved in the transaction and, of course, all of the physical documents.
What is blockchain?
If this term is completely new to you, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, 59% of consumers have never heard of blockchain and 80% of those who have don’t really understand what it is. While many will have heard of bitcoin and be at least vaguely aware of its implications to our lives, the revolutionary tech underpinning bitcoin has experienced a much slower rise to fame. Despite a general lack of awareness from the everyday consumer though, it’s rapidly becoming the foundation for how we do things online.
Originally invented to keep track of all bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions, blockchain operates as a distributed trust mechanism, allowing all users to see a record of transactions to ensure all bitcoins are spent only once. Here’s how a transaction will play out:
- 1) A wants to send money to B
- 2) The transaction is represented online by a ‘block’
- 3) The block is broadcast to every party in the network
- 4) Those within the network approve the transaction is valid
- 5) The block is then added to a ‘chain’ of other transactions
- 6) The money moves from A to B
The uniqueness of blockchain is that it is completely open to be viewed by anyone and there is no single institution making or verifying the records. That job is down to an ever-growing peer-to-peer network of ‘bitcoin miners’ who are incentivised to audit the transactions before adding them to the ledger. Once a block is added to the chain, it can’t be edited without alerting the entire network. There’s also no central database to hack because it’s run on the computers of volunteers across the globe. The result is an indelible and transparent record of transactions, able to record everything of value and importance in the world – one which can’t be forged, edited or deleted.
Why is it being developed for land titling?
As the biggest and most important asset many of us own in our lives, property is naturally among the first physical assets to be moving into a securer online space. Land registry is also rife with inefficiencies, much like the rest of the property sector which has been reluctant to digitise. In its current state in the UK for example, the process of transferring a land title requires signing a physical document, taking it to a notary in person to be stamped and then taking it in person to your local government office to be placed in their database. Just that process alone can be sped up from months to seconds with the introduction of smart contracts that handle the transaction online.
Then there are the many middlemen – brokers, government property databases, title companies (insurance and property databases), escrow companies, inspectors and appraisers. This army of people are costing consumers millions in ‘hidden fees’ on the largely manual tasks of title registration, title insurance, building document inspection, checks on previous sales records and legal fees associated with registering the property transfer. Blockchain empowers consumers by allowing them to verify property records themselves and transfer a title digitally.
The digitisation of land titling will also be critical to preventing increasingly sophisticated real estate scams. With current land records being highly susceptible to clerical errors and fraud, targeted consumers have had their homes sold from underneath them and been left with a crippling mortgage debt by thieves who have successfully stolen their identities. Some 15.4 million consumers were victims of identity theft or fraud last year. The sheer number of victims has given way to an entire industry around title insurance (adding even more costs to the home-buying process) – an industry which will likely suffer the biggest disruption when blockchain land registry becomes more mainstream.
Furthermore, the rollout of blockchain-powered land titling will be a huge help to developing countries that don’t have land registry records and those impacted by natural disasters whereby physical land registry records are lost or destroyed.
Countries already trialling blockchain land registry
While few countries so far have announced plans to move land titling to blockchain, those invested are moving quickly.
The United Kingdom’s national land registry is already making a move toward digitising real estate as part of a wider transformation of government services. Earlier this year HM Land Registry announced it would be testing blockchain as part of a new scheme called ‘Digital Street’ in an effort to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data. When you consider the current workings of the Land Registry sees conveyancers faxing documents and hand-writing amendments to property titles, it’s not hard to see how blockchain tech can vastly improve operations.
Plans have also been announced by the Ukraine government to pilot a blockchain-backed land registry system to be launched in October. The move follows an alarming report by the World Bank into the status of land relations in the Ukraine, detailing the country’s issues arising from a lack of transparency in land registry. Of the 10million hectares of agricultural land owned by the state in the Ukraine, just 24% is publicly registered, which has been the source of a number of criminal activities.
To add to this, the number of land tax payers is far lower than the number of private land owners and land users. And with 71% of the country falling into the category of agricultural land, but the level of lease payments being extremely low, rural land owner incomes have continued to be negatively affected causing inefficient use of land resources. By making these steps toward digitisation, the Ukrainian government hopes to increase transparency and reduce the environment for corruption that has thrived since the country’s land reform in 2002.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government has plans to merge records from all government property databases with blockchain from 2018. If the trial is successful, a national rollout could take place in as little as five years. A growing issue in the Japanese community is that land registry data doesn’t accurately reflect the state of the property market. A recent survey revealed 26.6% of landowner records in small and mid-sized cities hadn’t been updated in 50 years. Figures from last year showed 20% of agricultural land data hadn’t been updated at all in the case of a property failing to be inherited after the death of the original owner. This lax attitude toward land titling has contributed to an increasing number of empty homes across the country. The introduction of a digital ledger will allow for easier cross-referencing and aid in the sale and redevelopment of property that is no longer occupied.
Other blockchain-based land-titling projects have been initiated in the Republic of Georgia, Sweden, Honduras, Ghana and Cook County in Chicago.