One of the most forward-looking states in America has decided to put its land registry in the hands of blockchain technology, in a bid to add an additional layer of security, as well as preservation, to the land records. Teton County, WY has signed a memorandum of understanding with Medici Land Governance – a sub-company of Overstock – to build the blockchain platform. The platform will keep track of outstanding mortgages on land, liens, and land transactions in a bid to keep the Teton County land in the rightful hands of its true owners.
Low-Cost Land Administration
In Teton County – and many other counties across the United States – most land records are still kept in filing cabinets, making any form of land claim a rather slow and arduous process. This in turn makes it highly expensive to maintain and use on a daily basis. By transferring all records from 1996 up to the present day to the new blockchain platform, Teton County is hoping to make land administration a low-cost and lightning-quick process.
Land and Blockchain Have a Shady Past
While this project between Teton County and Medici Land Governance is totally legitimate and will not require any outside investment from the general public, there have been a number of scams in the past involving blockchain and land. Westland Storage was taking investments to allegedly buy land or properties and rent such out. The money it then received in rent was then split up between the investors in the project and paid out as “guaranteed income”. However, this reeked of scam and recently the Westland Storage scam came to light as the founders vanished.
Blockchain Creating Affordable Housing
In another major triumph for distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain technology, the Kenyan government is turning to blockchain in order to provide housing for the impoverished. Its new DLT based system will prevent any form of corruption from happening in the housing system, meaning people with friends in high places won’t be bumped up the queue. DLT and blockchain are helping to eradicate the economic divide by destroying corruption in countries such as Kenya, and is being heralded as a wonder technology as a result.
Teton County’s new blockchain system won’t go live until 2019, but all land records from 1996 until the present day will be added to the entire database. This will mean selling or buying property in Teton County should take significantly less time than it currently does, as the majority of false claims will be easily stamped out. If all goes well, we could see more counties across the state of Wyoming taking up blockchain technology for its land registry.