Colombia launches time-saving blockchain land registry pilot project

The Ethereum-based system is part of the government's new approach to technology as it strives to improve relations with its citizens and provide transparent land registry

Colombia has launched a blockchain-based pilot project for the state-run National Agency for Land (ANT) aimed at reducing the time it takes to process the restitution of land rights.

“Land titles and registries will be recorded on the Ethereum-based blockchain,” explains National University of Colombia researcher Mauricio Tovar.

“Land-related documents, the registries of the owners themselves and those of the officials that intervene in the process, will be recorded on the blockchain-based registry which cannot be modified.”

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Tovar says the new system will provide a high level of transparency and security to the land registry process. The National University of Colombia developed it in coordination with Spain-based UST Global. The Colombian government granted funding for the project.

“The problem with land registry these days is centralisation. It’s risky to have all applications and land registry processes centralised in one place,” notes Tovar.

“The proposal we are presenting today is to decentralise land registry utilising blockchain, improving the procedures, making the system more efficient and less corruptible.”

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Users of the new platform will register to a straightforward database, submitting their personal information and a photo for identification purposes.

When the user is filling out the application or forms, the system automatically activates the computer’s camera to take photos at the time of registration to minimise the possibility of usurpation of identifications.

Once the application is complete, all the information is uploaded onto the Ethereum blockchain via IPFS, and each registry creates a unique and unmodifiable hash, which can later be used to track the property through the open ledger. All those with the relevant permissions can access the information.

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Ivan Castano, Head of R&D at the Ministry of Technologies, Information and Communications (MinTIC), said: “We are seeking to make this new ecosystem more dynamic by organising a series of diverse activities, including a hackathon in Colombia 4.0.”

Castano also praised the government of Colombia for its openness to innovation and technology as a path to a better relationship with its citizens.

Ivan Duque, who will be sworn in on 8th August as Colombia’s new President, added: “Blockchain technology will help raise the levels of transparency in all government processes. This technology will be part of my governing plan.”

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