Sweden Land Agency Finishes Blockchain Project
Sweden’s land registry authority announced it has recently concluded the third stage of its ongoing blockchain pilot.
Lantmäteriet, the government agency responsible for mapping, cadastral and land registration, said it has passed the testing checkpoint with the help of its partners including financial companies SBAB Bank and Landshypotek, blockchain startup ChromaWay, technology consultancy Kairos Future, real estate search portal Svensk Fastighetsförmedling, telecom Telai Sverige, and information technology (IT) firm Evry.
Participating firms contributed various elements which make up the components of the blockchain pilot.
For instance, Evry and Teila assisted in validating a live transaction between a buyer and a seller.
This week, the land registry authority demonstrated the client-side verification of government-approved digital signatures and the last phase of exporting the necessary legal contracts.
According to them, the the smart contract used in processing the transaction adheres to existing laws and regulations of the European Union such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy rules.
“In a distributed environment such as a blockchain, you cannot have a central server for verifying identities, it all has to be based on signatures and verified by the user,” Henrik Hjelte, ChromaWay’s chief executive, said in a statement.
“Although the project uses centralized ID services, that is those approved by the government, in a blockchain environment these signatures must be put under the same scrutiny as everything else, and hence we do verify in each and every client all the way up to the root certificate,” project lead Jörgen Modin explained.
The initiative, which started in the early part of 2017, started when the Lantmäteriet bestowed its go-ahead for the partnership with ChromaWay and other companies to discover how private blockchains can facilitate property transactions.
Mats Snäll, the agency’s head of development, said this is for the innovation of how land titles are registered.
“[We] saw that this process was quite conservative. It still consisted of paperwork and such things and [we thought] it would be a good idea to see if that kind of process was possible to change with the help of the blockchain technology,” he said.
Snäll recalled Lantmäteriet was attracted to the openness and transparency which the technology could potentially provide the agency and the Swedish people.
“Land titling should be public, it should be open, it should be transparent and safe and secure,” he added.
Although Sweden’s land registry system is considered an old-fashioned, it is working effectively. Still, Snäll said not everyone is familiar with the distributed shared ledger.
“Still people ask, ‘What is blockchain?’ It’s still to be seen if one is against it or not. Right now most of the people are curious about it,” he said.