Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies is quickly becoming the talk of the town.
It’s no surprise that everyone wants to know more about this emerging technology.
We recently had a brief but interesting chat with Marvin Coleby, a young Bahamian who specialises in blockchain technology to understand just how blockchain could impact the real estate sector.
Marvin is an attorney and Bahamian technology entrepreneur and founder of the blockchain firm emerge.
He says that blockchain could provide the solution for an efficient digitised land registry and could also transform the crown land application process.
He explained that blockchain technology, is effectively a data structure that enables identifying and tracking transactions digitally and sharing this information across a distributed network of computers, could be a solution to improving this nation’s inefficient land registration system.
Unfortunately, The Bahamas has ranked among the world’s worst when it comes to the ease of registering property and there have been repeated calls over the years for a proper land registry.
“Blockchain is not going to fix the cases in court where titles are in dispute but there are ways of digitising the existing registry from existing land titles. You can start with land being bought now and land that has clean title can be digitised, made accessible and more effeciently transferred over the Internet,” Marvin says.
He adds: “Blockchain enables us to create a permanent, digital, incorruptible evidence of land title ownership. The least complicated approach is to start with newer and clean titles and then work to the hard stuff such a disputed land. If we start with disputed land it could take years. There is no reason the Bahamas can not be ahead of curve; the technology is very easy.”
Marvin also notes: “If we can successfully start a digitised land registry it would mean that we could be able to do title searches without an attorney or having to go to the registry as the information would be digital and readily accessible. With a digital blockchain land registry, you sign onto a platform, you have control over your land title and be able to see when it was transferred and conveyed. Right now the system is very inefficient.”
Marvin also noted that blockchain could also be used to establish a more efficient system for applying for crown land. “Right now the process could take years, if you’e even fortunate enough to get a response.” Establishing a digital process for crown land applications could reduce the process down to seconds he says.
“Land is the most important resource in the world, it always has been and now the Bahamas has a chance to transform it with a technology that make it accessible to every Bahamian.”