The Andhra Pradesh government has partnered with Swedish startup ChromaWay to run a pilot for land registry on a blockchain to track the ownership of property, reports CoinDesk. The state will be introducing a digital identification for land registry parcels called Bhudhar, the Financial Express reported. The publication added that it will help citizens pay property taxes as well.

Meanwhile, ChromaWay said that it will be using a distributed ledger on the back end and a web app on the front end.

There is increasing interest in using blockchains to keep land records and pay property tax.

  • Sweden’s land registry authority, Lantmäteriet, started a pilot in March this year where it will use smart contracts to purchase small houses on the blockchain and manage mortgages.
  • In April 2016, The Republic of Georgia signed a deal with bitcoin mining company BitFury to build a private blockchain to keep track of its land registry.
  • In Honduras, however, its blockchain land title project seems to have stalled. Honduras had partnered with FatCom for securing land title records with distributed ledger technology.

Privacy issues

During the #NAMAPrivacy conference, Aditya Berlia from the Svarn Group explained that records kept in a public blockchain could become problematic for individuals when it comes to security and privacy.

“The holy grail of any investigator is to get access to a criminal organization’s bank accounts. In a public blockchain, we have that access from day one.  So the worry to privacy becomes an issue for other people as well. If all land records are public, if for example, here is someone who is very rich and has a lot public land records it could be used to get information to kidnap his kids. Because it becomes a personal security issue to have your land records, bank information online,” he explained.

So what we need to have laws on publicizing that records on a blockchain. And we also need to look into the what are the protections of that individual where I do have default anonymity,” he added.

RBI’s proof of concept

Meanwhile, in January, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI)  research wing, the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), concluded a proof of concept study using blockchains for trade finance applications. The proof of concept was run by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and banks like SBI, HDFC, Citibank and Deutsche Bank.

The study had recommended banks set up and use the technology internally, followed by inter-bank adoption. The blockchain will also help set up a centralized KYC, cross-border payments, loan syndication, trade finance and capital markets applications.