Our Chief Program Officer, Frank Pichel, wrote an article on the potential uses of block chain technology for the land administration sector over at DevEx. Check out our summary below, posted here with DevEx’s permission.
Over the past year, Bitcoin has come to the public’s attention as an alternate, or cryptocurrency, due largely to significant swings in value and its linkage to sites like Silk Road, the black market of the internet . While the focus on Bitcoin has been mostly on its potential impact to the banking and finance world, the most interesting component of it just might be a component of its inherent architecture – block chain. Block chain is a database spread out over a distributed network of nodes, and has functional capacities that can be applied in a number of fields and disciplines beyond banking.
Recent speculation has focused on how the land administration might utilize block chain as a way to maintain a transparent and secure database, in effect a distributed land registry. This is especially useful as databases can act public as immutable repositories for property information while mitigating the risk for single points of failure, or fraudulent manipulation, that could compromise entire databases.
At Cadasta, we are identifying how our platform might integrate and support block chain in our goal to help people who are left out of formal property rights systems. While a decentralized land information system based on block chain technology won’t solve the bureaucratic or legal problems of property rights systems, it might assist with overall transactional security, and transparency of this system for the general public.