- South Burlington, VT has launched a real estate registry pilot program that will use blockchain to record property transactions.
- The system, designed by Propy, will use a distributed ledger — a shared network across multiple sites that makes a cyber attack more difficult — to boost the security of its real estate record storage process.
- Blockchain is also expected to bring down the city's real estate registry costs by eliminating paper processes and reducing the amount of human verifications needed.
Blockchain began as a highly secure record storage system that gained recognition for its status as a core component of bitcoin. Many people have found it difficult to separate blockchain from bitcoin, but it can be used for a variety of transactions between two parties, and new uses for the technology are quickly coming to light. Cities are now beginning to find ways to incorporate blockchain into various parts of their smart systems, especially portions that contain sensitive data and require top-notch security.
One of the benefits of blockchain technology is that it stores lists of data and makes it difficult to alter the lists. That prevents either accidental or intentional record alteration.
According to StateScoop, South Burlington wasn't necessarily seeking a way to overhaul its real estate registry, but it was approached by the blockchain startup. Officials report being open to trying beneficial innovations for improving services. The city will incorporate records from a limited number of properties into the platform during the pilot, and it might choose to expand the number of properties and the stored details about each property if the testing goes well.
This program launching in Vermont makes sense considering the state has been actively examining blockchain technology. The state has passed several pieces of blockchain-related legislation over the past two years that include mandates for studies to examine uses of the technology. One of the areas that was investigated was using blockchain for smart contracts, which is a prime way cities are expected to adopt the technology over the next couple of years.
Some of the legislation is related directly to boosting Vermont's economic development through blockchain. Retirements and the loss of talent to other states has made the small state lose workers, and forward-thinking legislation could draw the attention of young workers and technology-friendly businesses.