The Russian government is to begin testing a blockchain-based land registry system early next year.
According to a draft resolution published by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreetr), the Federal Tax Service and the Government of Moscow will assess the trial through July 1, 2018. The ministry will submit and release a final report on the trial by Sept. 1.
According to the translated document:
"The use of blockchain will be aimed at increasing the availability of information on the property registry, guarantees of protection of property rights, as well as the level of citizens' trust in the sphere of turnover of real estate."
The pilot project comes seven months after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asked two government ministries to begin looking into possible public-sector applications of blockchain technology.
He said at the time: "We need to analyze in general, as far as it is applicable in our governance system – and public administration, and in the economy … I instructed the relevant ministries – the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Economic Development – to consider the possibility of using these technologies in preparing the program 'Digital Economy'."
In a press release, Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said the high cost of operating Rosreetr made it a top choice for applying new technologies like blockchain.
Russia's announcement follows a plethora of other national and regional governments announcing their own land-registration projects. Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom have all launched trials, along with two Brazilian municipalities and the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Russian coat of arms image via Shutterstock