A blockchain-based land registry designed to mitigate ownership disputes in Afghanistan has been launched. The open-source solution was developed by blockchain company LTO Network in tandem with two United Nations organizations. The property registry is now set to be handed over to the government of Afghanistan, which intends to populate it with 2.8 million land parcels, creating an immutable record of who holds the claim to land across the country.
The project began life in September 2019 when the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology and UN-Habitat signed a Memo Of Understanding with the Afghan government. The plan was to create a land registry as part of the government’s City for All program. LTO Network was enlisted to build the blockchain component, and the project is now ready for deployment at scale.
Better Monitoring And Greater Efficiency
“The plug-and-play design of LTO Network’s blockchain and the contribution of transaction tokens for the Afghanistan project enabled the development of the blockchain anchoring mechanisms,” said Maurizio Gazzola, chief strategic solutions at UN-OICT, explaining the technical components underpinning the registry. He also highlighted “the Open-Source certificate of ownership verification tool that is now available to any country to utilize as a blockchain add-on to their existing land registry systems.”
If successful, it is expected that other countries will adopt the open source solution for land registration and management. This isn’t the first time LTO has seen its tech utilized by a national government; it claims to have saved the Dutch and Belgian governments €7 million via a waste transportation system that makes use of blockchain.
LTO deploys a dual blockchain system, combining a public Proof of Stake chain with private chains that are controlled by organizations, who can achieve consensus via a hashed version of agreements being recorded on the public chain.
Why Better Land Registry Is Needed
The solution developed in Afghanistan by the UN and LTO is much more than a vanity project; it’s been designed for wide-scale use and with an eye on having it rolled out in other countries. Without indisputable proof of ownership, landowners are prone to get mired in property disputes, which disincentivizes development and production.
Having a national land registry that is fit for purpose is seen as a cornerstone of Afghanistan’s efforts to rebuild and to increase GDP, as well as improving living conditions. Land rights that are protected by law are fundamental to a thriving economy, and thus Afghanistan is prime territory for a project of this nature to debut.
“We’re proud to facilitate land registry operations for countries around the world through the open-source boiler plate that we intensively developed for the past year in collaboration with UN-Habitat and UN-OICT teams,” said LTO Network CEO Rick Schmitz. “We believe the future for land registries lies with hybrid blockchain solutions that allow for optimized and decentralized data exchange between stakeholders in the land registry process without the need for expensive IT-overhauls.”
Disclaimer: The writer has a personal relationship with LTO Network. Please consult your financial advisor before investing in any cryptocurrencies as they are volatile and pose risks for the average investor. This post is informational in nature and does not constitute financial advice.
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