Georgians know what it’s like to have their land stolen from them.
The small nation in the Caucasus, with a population of just under 4 million, gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. But in 2008, under the pretext of supporting separatist movements, Russia invaded from the north, seizing control of several Georgian territories — South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia still occupies both, and in July Russian troops annexed yet more Georgian land in what Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili called “creeping occupation.”
This is perhaps why the government in Tbilisi, under the leadership of justice minister Tea Tsulukiani, decided to make Georgia the first country in the world to use a blockchain to protect its land registry system.
Blockchain is a system that makes an immutable ledger using sophisticated cryptography, distributing the database across thousands of participating computers. This makes it almost unhackable; even if an attacker was able to access one unit of the blockchain, any changes they managed to make would be permanently visible on the ledger, like graffiti scratched on a steel tabletop.