Last Updated: 3 July 2022
The Colombian government wants to use Ripple’s blockchain to record who owns which piece of land. This digital national land registry was developed by Peersyst Technology, a partner of Ripple, and built on the XRP Ledger.
First national land register launches on XRP Blockchain
Peersyst Technology announced in a tweet on 1 July that it had been working on the project for over a year with Colombia’s “Digital Government” initiative and the country’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications.
— Peersyst Technology (@Peersyst) July 1, 2022
The project will be used by the Colombian National Land Agency using XRP Stamp. This is a blockchain-based initiative that allows digital files and records to be verified and certified on XRP Ledger. The information is then further stored on the blockchain. Authenticity is verified using QR codes.
Peersyst Technology expressed its gratitude to the Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications and Carmen Ligia Valderrama, the minister heading the government agency, for opening Colombia’s doors to welcome blockchain technology and also that they stand for transparency.
Ripple and Peersyst have been working together for a long time. For example, most of Peersyst’s blockchain-based projects are built on the XRP blockchain. You could say that they have a kind of symbiotic relationship and reinforce each other.
LTO Networks and national land registry in Afghanistan
Incidentally, the registration of land via blockchain is not a new idea, it has just never been properly implemented. At the end of 2020, LTO Networks announced that it was working with two United Nations working groups to open a land register on the blockchain.
The first country to roll out this project is Afghanistan.
According to the terms of the agreement, the two UN entities worked with LTO Network, a hybrid blockchain for securing, verifying and exchanging information. In this case, it is about land rights, and LTO Network’s blockchain technology is used for the application, registration and documentation of properties in Afghan municipalities.
Blockchain project goLandRegistry aims to keep accurate property records for the 2.8 million land parcels in Afghanistan, each of which is registered individually using LTO Network’s technology. Landowners can then prove the document’s authenticity using the open-source blockchain verification tool. The website and social media of goLandRegistry have not been updated for a year and a half, so it looks like the ambitions have not been fulfilled.
Australia wants to join
About a year ago, the Australian government also wanted to use blockchain to record the national land register. This is part of an initiative to weave blockchain throughout the country and every branch of government. The National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee was set up for this purpose.
The committee advised the national cabinet to consider supporting a blockchain-powered national land registry. This would serve as a pilot project for collaboration between the Commonwealth and the state to streamline administrative processes in both the public and private sectors.
‘The committee was particularly impressed by the potential of blockchain to drive efficiency in the area of land registries, and recommends that this issue be further explored in the context of the national cabinet.’
Is blockchain really necessary?
All these initiatives sound like confirmation that bitcoin has given the world a great gift in the form of blockchain technology. But the question that always needs to be asked: Is blockchain really necessary? For that, the author of this article has too little knowledge of national registries. But there are a few general features of blockchain that should be in demand.
The essence of blockchain includes a tamper-proof, distributed and consensus algorithm. These questions can help determine whether a blockchain is needed:
- Does the data need to be consistent between different parties?
- Will the data remain unchanged after it is written?
- Are there many contributing parties?
If the answer to question 1 is ‘no,’ then you might as well stop your research altogether. Question 2 is a little more complicated. For example, suppose we are looking at land, a coin can represent a plot at address A of 20m2. The properties of this coin may not be able to be rewritten, but the coin can change owner.
In addition, if there is only one central contributor, or a small group, you might as well try a trial subscription to Office to use Microsoft Excel.
If, after asking these questions, you come to the conclusion that a blockchain is necessary, then the real work begins. Because which blockchain offers the features that a national land registry needs? Peersyst has convinced Colombia that it must be Ripple’s blockchain.