11 Aug Netherlands’ Land Registry to Test Blockchain Solution for Real Estate
Blockchain is a technology that promises to change how data is stored and businesses operate.
It is important to ensure that the blockchain, and the data that it stores, is properly protected.
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- The most basic definition of blockchain is a shared, digitized ledger that cannot be changed once a transaction has been recorded and verified.
- All parties to the transaction, as well as a significant number of 3rd parties maintain a copy of the ledger (i.e. the blockchain), which means it would be practically impossible to amend every copy of the ledger globally to fake a transaction.
- Bitcoin’s success has triggered the establishment of nearly 1000 new cryptocurrencies, leading to the delusion that the only application of blockchain technology is for the creation of cryptocurrency.
- However, the blockchain technology is capable of a lot more than just cryptocurrency creation and may support such things as transactions that require personal identification, peer review, elections and other types of democratic decision-making and audit trails.
Meanwhile, Huistede, an architect at the Land Registry of the Netherlands has said that the institution is seeking to understand what the “relatively new” technology means for the property sphere, and expects a blockchain solution will be integrated into its system within one to three years.
The Land Registry is tasked with overseeing ownership, mortgage rights, and all third-party data related to the national property market, and is reportedly seeking to explore the technical, legal and governance aspects of blockchain as part of its efforts to create a “more flexible and agile” organization.
Blockchain has recently come to the fore in the Dutch context, with a major national blockchain research agenda commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy launching earlier this month. The government ministry has created a specialized unit that will research the future of blockchain in the Netherlands in terms of legal issues, economic impact and ethics.
The Netherlands was also notably one of 22 EU members to recently sign a declaration to create a European Blockchain Partnership, which aims to cooperate on the implementation of “EU-wide” blockchain applications “across the Digital Single Market.”
The security of the blockchain essentially boils down to the security of cryptographic hash functions and cryptographic digital signatures. Currently, the underlying cryptographic algorithms that secure the blockchain are considered secure against attack; however, this will not always be the case. A more immediate threat to blockchain security is the security of the private keys used to manage identity on the blockchain.