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Blockchain & governments: A look at how Colombia is using blockchain technology to store and maintain records of its land deeds

Blockchain & governments: A look at how Colombia is using blockchain technology to store and maintain records of its land deeds

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By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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Governments are turning to blockchain technology to secure, optimise and digitalise traditional operations. Columbia recently announced its plans to maintain land registries on Ripple's XRPL blockchain.

Cryptocurrency is not the only use case for blockchains. Today, distributed ledger technology is being implemented across industries, transforming many everyday processes.
Even governments have begun to take notice, turning to blockchain technology to secure, optimise and digitalise traditional operations.
For instance, Columbia recently announced its plans to maintain land registries on Ripple's XRPL blockchain.
This move is a pilot test for further expansion of blockchain-based governance plans in the country.
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The land registry system was developed in collaboration with the Barcelona-based blockchain development company, Peersyst. The process is just an extension of the existing method. When someone applies for a land registry, a computer and camera are added to the process for photo verification.
After confirmation, the collected data is added to an unmodifiable hash on the blockchain. This data can be validated through a simple QR code.
The project can be a significant breakthrough for land registries in Columbia, one of the world's most densely populated countries. Moreover, Columbia has also suffered the effects of a long-standing civil war that raged from 1964 until 2016.
In fact, one of the major causes of the unrest was the unequal distribution of land. "This
Fortunately, with the implementation of Ripple's public ledger system, things could see a drastic change. The long and winding queues and the under-the-table hurdles might give way to a cleaner perception of governance in Columbia that is faster and more efficient.
Once the land registry details are added, they cannot be tampered with or removed. This is the entire premise of blockchain technology. "That's the most important part. If the government system is blown up, the owner of land will still be in a blockchain because it is held around the world in different nodes," said Antony Welfare, a senior adviser at Ripple Labs.
The leadership of this pilot project is undertaken by Colombia's Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies, which presented its plan at a Peersyst's event called 'For a More Digital State: Blockchain at the Service of the Public Sector.'
The land registry system will help more than 100,000 Columbians who do not have the proper documentation of ownership of the land they currently inhabit.
Columbia finds itself leading the blockchain revolution for several reasons, starting with the country's high inflation rate. At an average of 8% per annum, inflation has moved public trust from the existing fiat currency to cryptocurrencies.
The country has one of the world's highest crypto adoption rates, with most of the population seeing cryptos as the future of money.
The second probable reason why Columbia is bullish on blockchain technology is the rampant corruption that has washed away people's trust. People are sure to rally around decentralisation and the idea of corruption-free processes.
This was one of the manifesto promises of the newly elected government.
In the other developments concerning blockchain and crypto adoption in the country, Columbia has allowed for partnerships between banks in the country and crypto exchanges. Bitcoin ATMs have become commonplace thanks to these partnerships.
And if this pilot project gets the expected results, we can see many more world-firsts of blockchain-based governance in the country. What's been applied to land registries can soon be used for birth certificates, death certificates, wills, and other important documentation.
A great outcome of this will be the inclusion of the unbanked and underserved populace.
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