With the goal of making the home buying process more streamlined, secure and easier, HM Land Registry (HMLR) tested its blockchain prototype to demonstrate how a digital transfer of ownership can improve the overall experience.
According to HMLR, it was able to successfully demonstrate how blockchain could be used to reduce uncertainty and delays when buying a home. The pilot was tested on the sale of a semi-detached house in Gillingham, Kent.
The seller of the house in Gillingham who took part in the trial, commented: “It was really straightforward. It shows how technology like this can help make everything so much quicker and you can see clearly what’s happening at every stage. If this is the way forward, it’s going to make everything easier.”
The project, which is now in its second year, is exploring the use of blockchain technology and smart contracts to improve transparency, speed, and trust in property transactions. The new prototype was developed as part of HMLR’s Digital Street research project and tested in cooperation with Mishcon de Reya, Premier Property Lawyers, Shieldpay and Yoti.
Simon Charnock, commercial director at Yoti, one of the participating companies said: “It’s great to see HMLR working hard to show how technology can make the property transaction process easier and quicker for all of us.
“This has been a hugely collaborative project and by encouraging participation from private organisations, HMLR are driving innovation and value in the property sector.
“It’s exciting to think that buying or selling a home could become a digitised proposition using blockchain and Yoti’s digital identity technology in the future.”
Chief strategy officer at Mishcon de Reya, Nick West: “It is clear that, as it stands currently, real estate transactions are too slow. This affects buyers and sellers, particularly where transactions fail or are abandoned and at great cost. Technology, and especially blockchain, coupled with improved data management has a huge part to play in revolutionising this process.
“What’s exciting here is that this is a real-world application of blockchain technology in our legal market. If we can turn this proof of concept into reality it will be of significant benefit to anyone buying or selling real estate assets in the UK.”