Sweden Moves to Next Stage With Blockchain Land Registry

Sweden Moves to Next Stage With Blockchain Land Registry

  

Sweden’s land registry authority to trial blockchain technology

A project set up last year by Sweden’s land registry authority, the Lantmäteriet, to trial blockchain technology for recording property deals has just moved to its second phase. Conducted by blockchain startup ChromaWay and consultancy group Kairos Future, the initiative is also working in partnership with two banks: SBAB and Landshypotek.

“It could be a great benefit for economic growth,” said ChromaWay CEO Henrik Hjelte on the project's potential, further arguing that Sweden is the ideal place to test a blockchain system for land titles, as trust in public authorities is high and could influence agencies elsewhere to follow suit. Under the proposed system, a buyer and seller would open a contract where banks and the land registry can view the workflow of the deal, such as due dates for payments. “In the blockchain confirmation of each step in the workflow is made with a hash, like the blockchain normally,” said Magnus Kempe of Kairos Future, adding: “Everyone has the same information and you can check it yourself.”

Another use example is verifying the existence of the IOU issued by the bank to the property buyer. “That part is going to be hidden for the others in the contract. You will only have the hash confirming from the bank that the IOU has been signed,” said Kempe. The newly entered second phase involves examining how the technology can be integrated with banks’ existing processes when verifying contracts. The firms indicated that ChromaWay’s platform won’t be handling any payments on the system – those will remain separate.

SBAB Bank, however, said it has no immediate plans to implement the tech, saying:

"Our reason to participate in the project has not been to actually implement the solution in our current processes. But rather an opportunity for us to get a better understanding of the blockchain technology and how it might possibly fit in our future products/offerings."

Trusting the digital

There remains one major hurdle to fully integrating this blockchain system for selling a house from start to finish. “We want to work fully digitally, but the law requires, at the moment, physical signatures on the papers, which makes it difficult,” explained Kempe.

While trust in digital contracts has been lagging for a long time, he argued that blockchain tech can now provide the trust needed to move forward. “As soon as the legislator understands that this is possible, I think it will come true,” said Kempe. Helping that process, the EU passed a directive in 2016 that puts more weight behind digital signatures and could eventually influence Swedish policy.

For now, the land registry project is looking at ways of working around the issue. Kempe said:

“Actually, the land registry today, they don’t receive much physical paper, they get PDFs of the contracts which are signed electronically so they don’t store the physical contracts. What we are thinking of is, you can actually sign the contract digitally in the blockchain to the land registry, they can award the land titles and then you can throw away the paper so you’re not dependent on the physical archive."

Outside interest

ChromaWay and Kairos Future said that they have been approached by more than a dozen public authorities from other countries expressing interest in the project. The team explained that they don’t hold any patents for the platform, preferring to see other organizations work on similar schemes, eventually leading to more collaboration.

Sweden’s testing of the blockchain for land titles is possibly the most ambitious application of the technology in real estate thus far. Others are working on the concept, however. Early last year, the land registry authorities in Eurasian nation Georgia began working with blockchain startup BitFury, which, in February, signed a memorandum of understanding to extend the tests to other government agencies.

According to ChromaWay’s Henrik Hjelte, the use of blockchain could be transformative for developing countries in managing ownership of property and improving transparency in real estate sales. On the other hand, proof-of-concept tests in Honduras were put on the back-burner in late 2015 over an apparent breakdown in communications between the government and Factom, the company that was supposed to conduct the trials.

ChromaWay and Kairos Future are confident about the future, though. Kempe said:

“There’s very little reason to think that this won’t work."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What’s Blockchain and How Could It Impact Government?

What's Blockchain and How Could It Impact Government?

Blockchain technology is the latest system governments are considering in the long-standing effort to increase efficiency.

The source code was originally created to support bitcoin, a decentralized payment processing, and stock exchange system. Creators were attempting to solve the risk that an online currency such as bitcoin could be double spent. To maintain the decentralized system, the network works on a peer-to-peer model, creating locked records that redundantly save across multiple servers.

Similar to a shared document, one transaction can be viewed across multiple places. However, a block record cannot be changed once it is recorded, only referenced as new records are made. The diffuse system is meant to act as its own iterative confirmation service.

Many people are talking about how blockchain could change everything from health records management to identity verification. “It has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems. But while the impact will be enormous, it will take decades for blockchain to seep into our economic and social infrastructure,” an article in the Harvard Business Review says. Each recorded block of information represents a transaction and each transaction is redundantly recorded. Nearly 300,000 blockchain records are recorded daily for Bitcoin alone.

One UC Berkeley study expresses concern that the order of transactions is extremely important, and research firm Constellation says blockchain's main purpose is to prove entry order. Maintaining record order could be worked around if timestamps were applied by a vendor, but the necessity of this is still being debated. Blockchain has grown so much since its first mention in 2008 that an ID program and bank card were created to support refugees by an experimental Voluntary Nation program.

Aside from banking and identification confirmation, blockchain can also create smart contracts that automate transactions between parties and verify ownership of assets before the exchange is finalized by referencing older block records. Similar systems have been suggested for health-care records management and banking security where estimates of cost savings differ, anywhere from $12 billion to $15 billion.

Using a system that can decrease risk, is auditable and maintains real-time settlements could minimize the need for many record-based positions such as notaries and contract lawyers, leading to predicted savings. The multiple uses for blockchain is what concerns many stakeholders, especially as many rush to find use cases for the tech.

“When discussing blockchain technology, it is important to remember Amara's Law (named after Roy Amara, co-founder of Institute for the Future): ‘We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.’ Anytime a technology goes through a hype cycle as is happening with blockchain, I find this maxim useful to reference,” Rachel Hatch, research director at Institute for the Future, wrote in an email to Techwire.

Startups like Ascribe remove the middle man from digital art, transferring more of the profit to the artist and the art to the buyer in one series of records. Many vendors agree that as more things become connected, more records are necessary. “The Internet of Everything needs a Ledger of Everything,” the Harvard Business Review said.

Hatch referred to this as a space for opportunities for change and growth. With a similar eye on change, Congress created a Blockchain Caucus to study use cases, and Delaware is considering it for its corporate registry. Many stakeholders agree that adoption will be a long time coming because the technology is the kind to build off of, not the kind that turns a business model upside-down. “The process of adoption will be gradual and steady, not sudden, as waves of technological and institutional change gain momentum,” the Harvard article said.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Blockchain Platform MultiChain Enters Beta with 15 New Partners

Blockchain Platform MultiChain Enters Beta with 15 New Partners

New Industry Partners are Joining

MultiChain, the private blockchain platform launched by Coin Sciences Ltd, has entered beta phase with the release of MultiChain 1.0 for Linux and Windows. The platform has also revealed that 15 new industry partners are joining its Platform Partner Program – a consultancy group originally backed by financial services giant Accenture.

Notably, the new members of the program include three multinationals – Boston Consulting Group, PwC, and Worldline – as well as 11 smaller companies. The MultiChain platform was set up with the aim of helping organizations more easily build applications using blockchains and distributed ledgers.

CEO Shinam Arora of Primechain Technologies, a new member of the partner program, explained some of MultiChain’s use cases, saying:

"We are using MultiChain for building several blockchain-powered solutions, including shared KYC/AML, syndication of loans and consortium lending, trade finance, asset registry, asset re-hypothecation, secure documents, cross-border payments and peer-to-peer payments.”

The platform said it plans to release a final version of the software this summer. In related news, Seal Software, a contract discovery and analytics platform, has said it will integrate MultiChain into its platform. The marriage will enable a machine-learning framework based on what the company called "intelligent contracts" to be used in conjunction with MultiChain's blockchain functionality.

Chain and Thales Interlock for
Blockchain Key Security Solution

 

A new Integration with Blockchain

French cyber-defense and aerospace firm Thales has launched a new integration with blockchain startup Chain aimed to boost blockchain security. The partnership will see Chain bridging its enterprise-focused blockchain software capabilities with the nShield hardware security module (HSM) developed by Thales. The move comes shortly after Thales unveiled a blockchain offering in conjunction with professional services firm Accenture.

Thales’ HSM is a hardware solution for securely storing private keys – the all-important strings of data that, for example, protect a user's bitcoin or other blockchain-tied tokens. As these pieces of information are critical in the context of digital asset management, the hardware offering has been positioned as one that would alleviate security concerns among enterprises and other organizations.

Jon Geater, CTO for Thales' cybersecurity arm, said in a statement:

"Blockchain is a game-changer in the financial services industry, with the potential to enhance security, speed and operational efficiency. Our integration with Chain provides a strong root of trust and ensures the integrity of the underlying blockchain operations that enables organizations to build, deploy, and operate blockchain-based transaction networks with confidence."

Regulators are also likely to cheer the advance of security measures in the blockchain space. In February, the European Securities and Markets Authority proclaimed that distributed ledger technology regulations would be premature, given the state of the tech and a lack of market-wide cybersecurity standards.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Basic Rules for Beginners in bitcoin Trading

Basic Rules for Beginners in Bitcoin Trading

basic rules for trading

 

There has been a protracted debate on the actual identity of Bitcoin, whether it should be regarded as a currency or a commodity.

With reasonable support on each side of the debate based on its inherent characteristics, a huge segment of the ecosystem is of the opinion that Bitcoin can, and should be regarded as both a currency and a commodity.

Whatever definition attached to Bitcoin, the constant variation in price offers an opportunity for investors to make a profit by trading the cryptocurrency, either as a long term investment or in a speculative short term pattern.

What is Bitcoin trading?

Bashir Aminu, Bitcoin trader and convener of online crypto group Cryptogene, explains the basic Bitcoin trading process as follows:

“If you buy Bitcoins at one price and then sell them for a higher price, you make a profit of the difference between those two prices, less any commission that you paid. However, if the price goes down, you will be in the uncomfortable position of having to either sell them at a loss or hold and hope the price goes back up while risking higher and higher losses if the price continues to drop.”

There are two major types of traders in the Bitcoin market, they are ‘long term’ traders and ‘short term’ traders. Each of these group of traders are classified by how long they may wish to hold onto a given position of trade.

Long term traders are usually involved in studying price trends over long periods of time. This informs their decision to buy and hold Bitcoin also over long periods with the hope of taking profit at a price higher than their original entry point. With Bitcoin still in its developmental stages, a lot of users suggest that this is a good time to buy.

This suggestion is based on the assumption that with increasing use case scenario and more adoption, demand for Bitcoin and its associated technology will increase, thereby creating more demand for the cryptocurrency which will automatically cause an eventual increase in value. Glimpses of this have been observed with the surge in Bitcoin price which coincides with a boost in its market capitalization and volume of trade.

On the other hand, short-term traders analyze the intraday behavior of Bitcoin price and seek to take advantage of the swings in price. These traders thrive in market volatility, a factor that is presently characteristic of Bitcoin.

In its early stages, the swings in Bitcoin price was usually so huge as every little event within the crypto space had very serious impact on the price of the cryptocurrency. As adoption grows and Bitcoin becomes more stable, price volatility has reduced considerably and experts think it is a better time to trade the cryptocurrency, compared to an earlier time.

“Bitcoin is certainly safer to invest in now than it was a couple of years ago”, says Aminu.

 

Trading rules

Aminu describes Bitcoin trading as extremely profitable if you play your cards well. According to him, it all depends on the market movement pattern. He tells Cointelegraph that Bitcoin value rises and falls dramatically throughout each trading day, jumping in whole dollar amounts. A phenomenon which he identifies as very risky when misjudged.

Based on his trading experience, Aminu outlines a set of rules for newcomers who may wish to profit from the Bitcoin market as follows:

Never put all your eggs in one basket. Your capital should be broken into smaller lots for multiple positions at different price levels.

Do not invest your life savings or money that may change your life drastically in the event of a loss. This rule is important mainly due to the existing level of uncertainty that still exists within the Bitcoin market.

Take full advantage of available technology in order to gain maximum profit

Understanding the market is a continuous process and requires a lot of time, concentration and effort. It is very crucial to do research and be up to date with current trends.

Know when to cash in. It is important to stay focused, unemotional and professional.

Traders should keep in mind that losing, just as much as winning, is an integral part of trading. It is the cumulative gains that count.

If this sounds to complicated there is a proven way of automated trading in the top 10 Cryptocurrencies by joining Trade Coin Club who do the hard work for you allowing you to share in the profit at three levels of risk. This frees you from having to follow the markets, minute by minute or hour by hour.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

By Iyke Aru

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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