Her Majesty’s Land Registry, a U.K. government agency responsible for registering land ownership, has announced it is seeking three non-executive board members as it undertakes a project using blockchain technology to register property.
The posting noted that the agency recently committed to making HM Land Registry “the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.” It referenced the project as the most substantial transformation in the registry’s 150-year history.
State-Backed Ownership Guarantee
The registry, an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, provides state-backed guarantee of ownership on the register rather than requiring title insurance.
To meet its objectives, the registry will have to become more digitized. It plans to launch a live test in the near future of a “Digital Street” to allow property ownership changes to close instantaneously. The Digital Street will also allow the registry to hold more granular data than is presently possible.
Digital Street would be the world’s first such registry, having great transformational potential for the property market, the posting noted. Blockchain technology is an underlying technology for the project.
Three Positions Needed
The registry seeks three non-executive board members to ensure the right mix of expertise. Experience in transformational/digital issues is being sought, along with finance and legal issues.
The transformational/digital member is expected to have experience delivering transformational change to provide service improvements and cost savings.
The person will have to deliver change across most transformation disciplines, including technology, process and people. The candidate is expected to have knowledge of information technology developments, including the delivery of digital services to customers and in data rich organizations.
The closing date for applications is June 22, 2017. Remuneration is ￡20,000 per annum.
Other Governments Have Similar Tests
The U.K is not the only country to explore blockchain technology for registering and managing property.
In February, the Republic of Georgia teamed with Bitfury Group, a provider of blockchain infrastructure, to use the bitcoin blockchain to validate property related transfers, marking the first time a national government used the bitcoin blockchain to validate and secure government actions.
Blockchain technology has also be tapped to improve land ownership in developing countries.
Last year, a team of blockchain technology pioneers from Ghana, Denmark and the U.S., launched the Bitland initiative to establish usable land titles and free up trillions of dollars for infrastructure development in West Africa.
The Bitland initiative will educate the population about technology and provide the benefits of documented land ownership to those who don’t have it. It will begin in Ghana and expand throughout Africa, with hopes of catapulting infrastructure development and strengthening democracy.