All over the world, millions of people occupy lands which have been handed over by their parents, and their parent’s parents since time immemorial. However, many unfortunately do not have the proper documentations to proof their ownership, and are often evicted from their lands when their governments pursue development. Proof of land ownership is not as simple, as it’s often tied to birth certificates and identity cards; and reality is, many poor farmers who work on their own land often live off the grid.
It is true, the burden of registration (of birth) is on themselves, but what if they were poor and uneducated? Does this mean they shouldn’t bear the right to own land and properties?
Improving access for everyone
The real estate market faces a wide variety of challenges on a daily basis. These include dealing with expensive intermediaries, or facing complicated legal processes when you want to purchase or sell real estate. The burden of proof which revolves around ownership of said land or property, requires verification of many parties and is a long process in itself.
Since it is relatively expensive even for the man on the streets, what more poor farmers who live in the countryside, wanting to put their land up for a loan at the local bank? It is hoped that blockchain can solve these problems once and for all.
Creating new ownership and revenue models
Blockchain is expected to enable new, exciting business models. For one, it would enable a secure platform that is capable of connecting real estate sellers and buyers, as well as land authorities – eliminating the need of real estate agents or brokers. It could also enable property owners to tokenize their properties, which opens up an array of possibilities.
For example, property owners can stop wasting time looking for a single tenant, but rather depend on an automated rental process; either by turning it into a property for multiple tenants, or turning it into a bed and breakfast. A system like this would help real estate owners maximize their property income, and potentially translates into less home loan defaults for the overall economy. This will result in more accommodative interest rates for the whole market, thus improving access to property ownership (for the country or city).
Employing smart contracts and blockchain technology also means that buying a house could be as easy as ordering a as buying from Amazon. As the buyer, you’d use the blockchain to read all pertinent data and being able to trust that the information is true, accurate and instantly verifiable. Purchasing a property could also be as easy as a click of a button: where smart contracts will be automatically executed and loan request to banks instantaneously approved on the back of blockchain-verified personal information, unique to each applicant.
Increased transparency, and tax revenue
Property registration, inspection, taxes, and a plethora of other document signings come with each property purchase. With blockchain technology, all data that is important to authorities can be uploaded and stored digitally, accessible instantaneously and securely. However, for this to happen, relevant institutions within the government need to start taking action.
While this might eventually culminate in job losses, it helps governments maintain transparency throughout their dealings, as well as improved efficiency, and potentially – more taxable income. It is not all lose-lose, contrary to what many anti-blockchain proponents might have said.
Cover photo by: Aheli Raychaudhuri
Daniel is a digital currency expert, writer, investor and ICO consultant. He writes for several top cryptocurrency publications, and will soon kick-start his entrepreneurial career in fintech, where he hopes to innovate. In his free time, Daniel enjoys travelling and collecting all sorts of thrilling experiences.