Her Majesty’s (HM) Land Registry, which holds 25 million land titles in England and Wales, may soon be using blockchain technology to document purchases of real estate.
In a press release, the agency announced its partnership with software company Methods, which will be using the Corda platform for the second phase of the UK government project dubbed Digital Street.
HM Land Registry Chief Executive Graham Farrant said, “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… [W]e 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.”
Methods CEO Peter Rowlins said, “When we read the HM Land Registry requirement, we recognized that the unique features offered by Corda in terms of security, privacy, interoperability and the smart contract flow framework, originally designed for financial services, would be an excellent fit.”
Methods had already begun using digital technology for a small selection of properties even prior to the blockchain project.
The HM Land Registry estimates that it handles property contracts whose worth totals over £4 trillion ($5.2 trillion), including around £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) of mortgages, and this represents more than 85% of the land mass of both England and Wales. Digital Street is the agency’s research and development project begun last year, that uses new technologies to improve the process of buying and selling properties.