Decentralizing Land Ownership
Giving people the platform to manage their own land.
Imagine not owning the land you live on. For people who live in first world countries, that thought might seem totally abstract. However, for over 1.1 billion people in the world who have no legal identification, that’s just a reality.
An estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide cannot officially prove their identity, according to the 2017 update of the World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) Global Dataset.
Without a legal identity it’s almost impossible to register land. Land registry is run through the government. So citizens without identification will often go their entire life without owning the land they live on.
This means that the government or any third party could come at any time and claim the land for themselves.
This is actually really common and referred to as land grabbing.
What if people could manage the land they lived on and not have to rely on a third party to transact? This could be done using the blockchain to create immutable deeds that could be transferred peer to peer.
In order to see what this would look like I built a proof of concept decentralized application (dApp), on the Ethereum Ropsten Test Network.
This dApp was deployed using a really simple smart contract. A government could deploy it and give citizens access to managing their own deeds. Using this platform a person can add, exchange, or sell properties.
Blockchain promises the removal of all third parties and intermediaries. Although, land ownership could be written on the blockchain. It would still be really hard to enforce without a governing body. So blockchain solutions like these would have to be developed alongside governments. The benefits would be an official immutable record, and seamless transfers.
Luckily there are organizations like the UNDP working with governments such as India, to develop similar blockchain solutions.