The land registry manager of New South Wales in Australia has partnered with a blockchain technology firm with a view of applying distributed ledger technology to property conveyancing.
According to the Financial Review, a proof of concept on a selected number of use cases will be conducted by the New South Wales Land Registry Services and blockchain tech firm Chromaway using the latter’s open source technology in recording data, facilitating transactions as well as offering smart contracts.
Chromaway, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, has been offering its open source blockchain technology for over four years now and among its clients include the Swedish land registry for whom it has done similar work. The proof of concept is expected to be completed early in 2019.
“Blockchain and distributed ledger systems are being implemented in land jurisdictions overseas where they are already delivering significant benefits,” said the CEO of NSW Land Registry Services, Adam Bennett. “NSW LRS is therefore working with ChromaWay to investigate and test selected use cases that might be relevant to our market.”
According to Chromaway, a blockchain-based registry system will be offer immutability while maintaining access and providing search features. Additionally, it will reduce data duplication, enhance information transparency and improve security.
The issue of security will be especially critical since the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), a national eConveyancing platform, has disappointed on this front. In June, for instance, a Melbourne-based family lost AU$250,000 through PEXA in a hacking attack.
The blockchain-based property conveyancing initiative comes at a time when the state government of New South Wales has already mandated the registry manager, which is now privately owned after being offloaded last year, make a complete transition to eConveyancing by next year in July.
The directive by the state government of New South Wales on eConveyancing will mean that starting in the next financial year all mainstream property transactions in the state will be required to be lodged electronically. In the 2017 budget approximately AU$8 million to achieve this goal.
Additionally, the state will cancel all paper-based Certificates of Title. At the moment banks and other financial institutions are in the process of converting the paper-based documents to electronic versions.
This is not Australia’s first initiative by either a state government or the federal government in the testing of blockchain technology. Earlier this month, for instance, CCN.com reported that the Australian government was testing the use of blockchain applications in the management of the country’s disability insurance plan.
Jointly developed by the Industrial Research Organization, the federal science agency of Australia, for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the use of blockchain technology is expected to cut costs and eliminate paperwork.