Australian State Eyes Blockchain Upgrade for Property Transactions

The New South Wales state government is trialing blockchain tech from ChromaWay as part of a bid to digitize property conveyance by next summer.

AccessTimeIconOct 16, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:29 a.m. UTC

As part of a plan to put all property transactions into the digital realm, a department of Australia's New South Wales (NSW) government is turning to blockchain technology.

With the state having ordered the digitization of all property transactions from July 1, 2019, NSW Land Registry Services – the operator of land titling and registry operations in the state – is launching a proof-of-concept (PoC) trial to gauge if blockchain is the best way to go, according to local news outlet CIO.

For the technical side of the effort, the agency is partnering with Sweden-based ChromaWay to conduct the PoC on its blockchain platform, with completion expected by early next year.

Currently, the report states, all land transactions are recorded manually and are written into public registers. Once the digitization process is complete, that will no longer be the case and paper contracts will no longer be valid.

Ultimately, if the PoC proves successful, all conveyancing data in NSW may end up on a register built with ChromaWay's open-source technology, though such a shift to Land Registry Services' operations would require regulatory approval first.

Touting the potential for blockchain to replace paper processes, ChromaWay said in the article that, using blockchain systems, information remains "secure and immutable, while also being accessible and searchable."

The startup continued:

"It will provide a more complete and comprehensive view of land rights, restrictions, and responsibilities, which will streamline decision-making for government and land sector actors, provide increased information transparency, and reduce data duplication."

The NSW government is currently looking at other use cases for blockchain. Last month, it announced a digitization program for driver license holders in the state, which is expected to roll out in 2019. Blockchain would underpin the initiative, securing data in a distributed fashion.

ChromaWay, too, is involved in a number of other notable projects, having provided technology and assistance for Sweden's land registry authority in a similar pilot effort, as reported by CoinDesk in June. The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has also partnered with the firm on its land registry trial, announced in October 2017.

Houses at Bondi Beach image via Shutterstock

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