Land Registry kicks off £2m blockchain experiment
Government agency picks partner to explore how distributed ledger technology could help deliver ‘faster, simpler, and cheaper’ services
HM Land Registry has kicked off a potential £2m-plus engagement with a blockchain specialist to explore how the technology could help improve the process of buying and selling property.
Six weeks ago, the non-ministerial government department awarded a research and development contract to digital transformation specialist Methods. The deal – which will be worth up to £2.25m if it runs to its full two-year term – will see the London-based firm support HM Land Registry in its ongoing Digital Street project.
Digital Street aims to examine how technology could be used to transform property transactions, by implementing digital services and contracts, and exploring the use of blockchain.
Over the coming months, Methods will help HM Land Registry trial the use of the Corda blockchain platform manufactured by R3.
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The firm’s work with the government agency will be supported by Corda-specialised consultancy Blockchain Digital.
John Reynolds, innovation and delivery director at Blockchain Digital, said: “Digital Street and blockchain has the potential to synchronise and optimise the way all participants in the property market interact, from solicitors to banks, from surveyors to estate agents. Over the coming months, and in support of HM Land Registry’s commitment to open data and open innovation, we will be announcing a programme of innovation and collaboration events that enable the property eco-system to join the Digital Street community."
The Digital Street project got underway last year. The programme of R&D work is intended to explore how digital services and emerging technology could make conveyancing quicker and safer.
“Our ambition to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, ease of use and an open approach to data requires HM Land Registry to be at the forefront of global innovation in land registration,” said Graham Farrant, chief executive of HM Land Registry. “By working with Methods on Digital Street, we are taking another step toward that goal, as we explore how new technologies like blockchain can help us to develop a faster, simpler and cheaper land registration process.”
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