Smart Contracts to Speed-Up Land Registration Process

Blockchain Technology has found a powerful use case in the Land Registration Process because of the security features it offers. The unalterable and non-hackable properties of a Blockchain are enticing Governments around the globe to implement Blockchain solutions in the Land Registry Process.

One of the recent examples is Swedish Land Registry, which is in the process of implementing Blockchain Solutions for Land Registry Process and has already performed pilot testing of the solution. However, instead of the implementing originally ideated use case of Blockchain for Land Registry which involves putting ‘colored coin’ representing the house on a blockchain, Swedish Land Registry is looking to reform the workflow of selling a property which integrates with existing systems for keeping track of ‘who owns what’ utilizing Smart Contracts.

A Smart Contract is a pre-written computer code/logic that is stored in a distributed database of a Blockchain network and can result in ledger (shared) updates. (Read more about Smart Contracts here https://www.sofocle.com/understanding-smart-contracts/

Smart Contracts can

  • Reduce the risk of registering incorrect information
  • Assist in getting title deed and the confirmation from the land registry of ownership of the land.
  • Utilize unique digital fingerprint to regulate and control the workflow, correctness of the document, and the rules & order of authorization.

By utilizing digital signatures in all steps in the process of selling a house, the total time of doing a deal is reduced from several months to few days. The use of digital signature will reduce the time even for a centralized database, but it is susceptible to ‘attacks’ when a history is changed.

Together with a Blockchain network, Smart Contracts add a chain of evidence that comes from a history that cannot be altered. There are multiple copies of data (transaction/changes) stored with all parties involved. Each party in the Blockchain Network knows what other party is doing and verifies digital signatures in the workflow of all the steps and agrees to the steps in the workflow. This process helps in eliminating those fraudulent cases in which people sell what they don’t own. Only the parties involved; buyers, sellers, land registry, real estate agents can see the same information.

Sofocle has a pool of consultants and engineers, having expertise in developing and implementing Blockchain solutions based onSmart Contracts. To know more about how Smart Contracts and Blockchain can be utilized in Land Registration Process, please schedule a meeting with a Blockchain expert from Sofocle.

Understanding Smart Contracts – What, What Not and Why?

In legal terms, a contract is an agreement between two parties in which they agree to abide by certain terms & condition and specific procedures, that would hold true under certain situation/cases.

Now the physical contracts has its own set of problems like storage, theft, physical transfer etc. Due to this, digital documents came into play that covered some of the problems of physical documents. But if we talk about contracts, the digital contracts have two main issues:

  • It can be easily copied
  • The validity of signature is questionable

Hence came the idea of utilizing blockchain technology in making and executing an agreement in the form of Smart Contracts. In simpler terms, Smart Contracts are nothing but unalterable conditional codes written in a blockchain network, to perform certain actions, if specific conditions are met i.e. “it this happens, do that”.

Specifically, Smart Contracts are:

– A pre-written computer code/logic that is
– stored on a distributed database of a Blockchain network which is
– executed/run by the same network of computers (nodes),
– and can result in ledger updates like cryptocurrency payments.

As exciting as they may sound, Smart Contracts are just computer logics in a blockchain network. They don’t have a brain of their own (artificial intelligence). In practical scenario, they provide security and reliability to an agreement digitally, but can’t completely replace some of the legal processes of the real world.

-Smart Contracts can’t act completely autonomously: The code of a smart contract is executed only when called upon by a transaction/ message, sent to the smart contract by an external account or another smart contract.

-Conflict Management remains the Same: Handling conflict pretty much follow the same route as with all traditional contracts, i.e. via courts, mediation etc. The main difference will be that in a lot of cases, the transfer of value as a result of automated contract execution had already taken place.

So then, why should an Enterprise opt for Smart Contracts?

The most undeniable truth of the real world is that the things don’t go as planned. Despite both parties have a copy of the original trade documents and they both have a view on the external dependencies of the trade,a disagreement can occur because of one of the following:

-Confusion created due to mismatch between multiple copies of the original trade terms
-A misunderstanding of the initial trade terms
-A disagreement with what happens if the external dependencies changes

Written in a computer code, a smart contract has only one set of trade terms. This is far more concrete than the formal and technical clauses of legal documents, agreed upon up-front. The external factors can be fed in via a mutually agreed feed. The contract remains on a Blockchain, and run when an event happens or when duration of the contract expires. The transfer of value as a result of automated contract execution would take place when the mutually agreed conditions are met.

Sofocle has gained tremendous expertise in developing Smart Contracts as part of various solutions like Supply Chain Finance, Trade Finance and Product supply chain. If you would like to know how Blockchain and Smart Contracts can be useful for your enterprise, contact us.