Dubai Puts Land Registry on the Blockchain

The blockchain offers easy solutions for a permanent, tamper-free record of land ownership. Dubai has added to its image as a friendly cryptocurrency hub by using blockchain to register properties.

The Dubai Land Department is among the first government entities to utilize the blockchain for land and property registration. The initiative was announced ahead of the GITEX Technology Week, starting today.

"Following the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad, [Crown Prince of Dubai], in October 2016, which aims to make Dubai the first government in the world to apply all transactions through this network by 2020, DLD created a smart and secure database that records all real estate contracts," said Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director General of DLD.

The land authority would use a proprietary blockchain system to register all real estate contracts and then link them to services and utility companies.

"In the near future, we will see many partners joining blockchain to improve their client services, including banking, mortgages, and utilities and maintenance operations," Merjen said.

But Dubai is not the first to use blockchain-based land registry. The Republic of Georgia has created a similar project back in 2016, in partnership with the Bitfury Group.

Recently, Georgia presented its achievements with the blockchain at the 2017 meeting of the General Assembly of the European Association "Eurographics". Georgia has tried to solve the problem of registering land with traditional ownership into a transparent register.  

The Ukrainian government has also announced a trial run with a blockchain-based land registry. Sweden has also joined the group of countries exploring a similar solution.

Dubai is among the hubs warming up to the potential of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. The country recently proposed the creation of a national cryptocurrency.

Real estate has been on the to-do list for private projects as well. Recent ICO campaigns include many teams devoted to estate-backed tokens or investment in real estate