Australian Government Explores the Viability of Blockchain For Land and Property Conveyancing Transactions
One of the most vital parts of land and property selling and buying process is conveyancing – the legal act of transferring land and property ownership from the seller to the buyer.
However, it can be a cumbersome, frustrating, and slow process that has resulted in calls for ways of speeding it up in recent years.
A solution that has been a recent discussion is the application of blockchain in land and property conveyancing transactions. The South Australian government is exploring how blockchain technology might be applied to allow the systems of different digital platforms to talk when completing eConveyancing transactions.
Why is the South Australian government looking at blockchain?
The South Australian government’s Department of Planning, Transport, And Infrastructure (DPTI) have announced the call for information to understand the feasibility of blockchain technology to allow conveyancing transactions to be completed using different digital platform systems that are used for preparing and assessing land and property transactions.
The SA government’s aim to piloting a blockchain database is to streamline real-estate transactions significantly.
Blockchain would allow for trusted digital verification of mortgage deeds, bills of sales, purchasing contracts, and other crucial documents. It also could shorten the time between the writing of a purchase contract and the final registration of the asset transfer from months to days and even hours. Furthermore, it could minimize the risks of fraud and errors.
Internationally, other countries are exploring the application of blockchain to speed up, add security, and modernize real estate transaction processes.
- Sweden’s Lantmateriet has been testing an approach to record property transactions on a blockchain. In Sweden, the technology has been considered as potentially saving taxpayers more than €100m a year by speeding up transactions, reducing fraud, and eliminating paperwork.
- In the United States, the Cook County Recorder of Deed and velox.RE have been piloting how blockchain could be utilized to store property records of millions of properties. It is one of the tests taking place across the world, exploring how the technology could be used to improve the problem of tracking ownership of real estate properties.
- The Republic of Georgia introduced a propriety rights registration project for its citizens to enable them to register property via blockchain.
- Dubai developed a system that records all real estate contracts on the distributed ledger technology as a component of a comprehensive plan to secure all government documents on the technology by 2020.
- The Ukraine government partnered with BitFury Group Ltd to launch a blockchain platform to enable registration of land titles and add transparency to the real estate market. The introduction of such technology led to the passage of legislation that allowed foreign ownership and consequently widened the potential investor base.
Also, experiments and pilots with blockchain are being undertaken in other jurisdictions, namely India, Brazil, Ghana, Canada, and others.
It is now evident that blockchain has the potential to transform real estate business activities and specific to land and property conveyancing transactions. But time will tell whether the South Australian government will implement the technology in the real estate sector.
Image via Shutterstock