Hybrid blockchain network LTO Network has revealed that it is working with the United Nations to develop a land registry in Afghanistan. The open source solution, which will see land records immutably recorded on-chain, is designed to settle claims to parcels of land in the conflict-stricken country. Two UN divisions, UN-Habitat and the Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT), are working with LTO on the endeavor.
Mapping Land to Maintain Property Rights
Land-owners in Afghanistan have the same property rights as those of citizens in any other country. Enforcing them, however, can prove challenging due to the arid country’s topography and its political and religious conflicts that have made property disputes a frequent problem. While LTO Network’s on-chain registry can’t enforce property rights, it can provide a clear and unforgeable record of who each parcel of land belongs to. This should mitigate litigation and ongoing disputes between rival land-owners.
The project began life in September 2019 when UN-OICT and UN-Habitat signed a MoU with the Afghanistan government. The two organizations then called in LTO Network to provide the technology to deliver the proposed solution.
“We’re proud to facilitate land registry operations for countries around the world through the open-source boiler plate that we intensively developed for the past year in collaboration with UN-Habitat and UN-OICT teams,” said Rick Schmitz, CEO of LTO Network. “We believe the future for land registries lies with hybrid blockchain solutions that allow for optimized and decentralized data exchange between stakeholders in the land registry process without the need for expensive IT-overhauls.”
Giving property owners confidence that their claim on the land they own will be upheld is instrumental in spurring economic growth through increased agricultural production and development of real estate. As such, the creation of an incontestable land registry is a crucial step in driving greater stability in Afghanistan. The project will also demonstrate the suitability of blockchain to being used at governmental level for infrastructure projects of this nature.
Global Governments Embrace Blockchain
With the hype phase of blockchain having now passed, the utility phase is kicking in. Governments and enterprises are utilizing blockchain for what it can do, rather than the attention it can generate, in other words. In practice, this means incorporating distributed ledger technology into projects where there is justification for an independently maintained database whose integrity and indelibility are beyond dispute.
In Vietnam, blockchain project TomoChain has partnered with the country’s Ministry of Education to store diplomas on-chain. Academic institutions will be able to access certificates online, and verify that the qualifications of applicants are correct. Elsewhere, in West Africa, a blockchain-based identity platform is being developed that will integrate vaccination records, protecting privacy while also preventing misuse.
While the long-term success of these projects remains to be seen, the bigger picture is clear: blockchain is being used in the wild. What started as a system for routing payments P2P has evolved into a mechanism for improving everything from supply-chain logistics to national registries.
Disclaimer: The writer has a personal relationship with LTO Network and used this relationship to source insights for this article. The Daily Chain encourages you to carry out your own research before you make any form of investment and educate yourself about how to stay safe in the crypto space.