Deloitte's Netherlands branch is working with the city of Rotterdam to create a prototype for recording lease contracts on a blockchain.
In conjunction with the Cambridge Innovation Center (a real estate services firm based in the US), the project will focus on developing a platform for managing housing transactions. The area is one being explored by several startups, with the Rotterdam trial representing the latest effort to bridge the real estate industry and blockchain.
The first part of the process involved building a mechanism for recording lease agreements. From there, those involved with the project say, testing will move to payments for real estate transactions in conjunction with the agreement recording tool.
Jan Willem Santing, a manager of real estate advisory services at Deloitte, said in a statement:
"The next step will be monitoring the rental payments. By implementing additional blockchain applications in the real estate industry transaction times and costs can be reduced further. Furthermore, it enables decision makers to use data analysis for making future investment decisions on selling, buying and constructing real estate."
The effort is one of the more high-profile public sector blockchain initiatives to emerge in recent weeks, coming on the heels of news that the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest shipping port, has been testing applications of its own.
It also comes amid a digital modernization effort being undertaken by both the national government in the Netherlands as well as municipal-level constituencies throughout the region.