HM Land Registry Blockchain

HM Land Registry to trial blockchain for Digital Street project

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Alice Cruickshank

Her Majesty’s Land Registry is to use R3’s blockchain platform, Corda, for the second phase of its research and development project, Digital Street.

Digital Street will work with government transformation partner Methods along with blockchain experts from R3 and Blockchain Digital to understand how the innovative use of blockchain, distributed ledgers and smart contracts could revolutionise the land registration and property buy-sell process. Now in its second year, it’s hoped the project will bring greater transparency, speed and trust to property transactions.

The project has already created a digital register for a small selection of properties, which is a first step towards establishing a register that is fully machine-readable and able to be updated instantly.

Graham Farrant, CEO of HM Land Registry, said: “Our ambition to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, ease of use and an open approach to data requires HM Land Registry to be at the forefront of global innovation in land registration. We are taking another step toward that goal as we explore how new technologies like blockchain can help us to develop a faster, simpler and cheaper land registration process.”

John Reynolds, Blockchain Digital’s innovation and delivery director, commented: “Digital Street and blockchain has the potential to synchronise and optimise the way all participants in the property market interact, from solicitors to banks, from surveyors to estate agents.

“Over the coming months we will be announcing a programme of innovation and collaboration events that enable the property eco-system to join the Digital Street Community.”

The Corda blockchain platform

Developer R3’s Corda is an open source blockchain platform, which means it is freely available, with the aim that the tech community will collaboratively work to improve it. Software developers from around the world are contributing code to improve and build on the Corda platform, which currently has more than 200 members and partners across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors.

The purpose of Corda is to record, manage and execute institutions’ financial agreements in a secure, private and scalable way.

R3 claims Corda delivers the benefits of public blockchains without the privacy, scalability and governance issues that make some public blockchain platforms inappropriate for businesses, especially those operating in complex and highly-regulated global markets.

The platform is currently being used in industries including finance, healthcare, shipping, insurance and more.

Read our guide to blockchain here.

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