by Cindy Huynh
The Australian New South Wales (NSW) Government is eager to trial blockchain technology for property conveyancing because it may make the process more efficient, cheap, secure, and reliable. According to ZDNet’s article published on October 15, 2018, the NSW Land Registry will complete a proof of concept in early 2019 with the intent of shifting all form of land registry into an online eConveyancing format by July 1, 2019.
NSW Government Partners with ChromaWay
With the emergence of new technologies, many traditional approaches to registering and transferring land ownership are changing. The NSW Government is, however, embracing this change by undergoing experiments including a blockchain trial with an internationally well-known blockchain startup company based in Stockholm called ChromaWay.
Nicholas Delaveris, ChromaWay’s AP strategic advisor, mentioned that the idea of the blockchain trial was to provide the state entity hands-on experience with the emerging technology. It would also allow the government to assess and see whether a digital ledger would be a better alternative to what currently exists.
ChromaWay is however confident that blockchain technology would provide greater cybersecurity, efficiency, and service improvements. The trial would also enable the Land Registry Services to gain a more in-depth and better understanding of the technology, and how it can impact the local and national property markets.
Australian Government Pushes Digitization of Records
By July 1, 2019, the NSW Government expects everyone to lodge their mainstream property transactions online. The state entity will cancel any physical paper-format certificates.
ChromaWay believes that with blockchain technology, the NSW Government will benefit significantly with a superior, higher-quality, secure, immutable, and cheaper registry.
Furthermore, it would provide the government and people a more in-depth, comprehensive overview of land rights, responsibilities, and restrictions.
The government’s push to eConveyancing is related to the complexity of property rights and land ownership. According to Nick Szabo, computer scientist, cryptographer, and the inventor of smart contracts, property rights have always been a complicated matter since records to identify who the current owner is, and prove that they are the owners, is highly dependent on its accuracy. These records are often not preserved in the best way and are susceptible to forgery and destruction. Even when people reconstruct land registries, it can be a costly process littered with error and fraud.
The NSW Government has also rolled out an initiative earlier this year to digitize the NSW driver’s license with blockchain technology, testing the innovation in Australian suburbs and towns like Dubbo and the Sydney Eastern Beaches according to ZDNet.