Bitland is a Ghana-based blockchain startup that is utlitising blockchain technology to provide land registry services. The company aims to provide the basic services and infrastructure needed to give locals and organisations access to survey lands and register properties as well as assets through the Bitshares blockchain.
Furthermore, Bitland also intends to act as a liaison to help resolve disputes over ownership of land. Additionally, individuals or groups who registered their property on Bitland will be able to use their land as equity for bank loans.
The startup is working to extend their services globally within five years but for time being they are focusing on Ghana, with 28 communities selected in the southern part of the country to kick start the project.
BitcoinAfrica.io had the opportunity of interviewing Mr. Narigamba Mwinsuubo, the founder of Bitland to give us further insight into the work of Bitland.
What brought about the idea of Bitland?
Strong property rights is an important ingredient in economic development and prosperity for people. Without the protection of land use rights and reliability of transferring those rights, people have less an incentive to invest their time, energy and money into the properties that they inhabit and use.
Ghana has the problem of developing a fair, functioning, timely and efficient land administration system to get a single registry that represents a consistent ledger of land title holdings. It is plagued with multiple transfers of the same property. It takes longer times before land records are recorded, limited access of records, ongoing disputes over boundaries, and selling of land rights not owned by the seller and this is one source of the economic difficulties faced by most Ghanaians yet the courts are drowning in land disputes cases. So using the blockchain technology to create the first land title document with the help of a few friends who had in-depth knowledge about blockchain, time-stamping and mapping, I started Bitland.
So using the blockchain technology to create the first land title document with the help of a few friends who had in-depth knowledge about blockchain, time-stamping and mapping, I started Bitland.
How does Bitland intend to use blockchain technology for land registry?
The Bitland process is a next logical step for land administration, using online technology to include satellite images, GPS coordinates, landmarks, survey information and other data that make it easier to independently verify the accuracy of any plot of land. We want to simplify the process that can allow users to utilise their mobile device to enter a land survey. Whether a smart phone or tablet, the Bitland Application will allow users to plot land and submit requests directly to the government through the Bitland protocol.
How secure is the property or assets of an individual/organisation that uses Bitland?
Since the system is utilising a modified Proof of Stake (PoS) approach, the security of the system is not only distributed but more energy efficient than Proof of Work systems. By attaching a land title to the blockchain, it creates a time-stamped, immutable, transparent ledger of who owns a property. This will be much more resistant to corruption and fraudulent transactions than the current system in place. It will also serve as a method to prevent anyone within the government from corrupting the process for nepotism or to execute an illegal land grab.
What stage of development is Bitland currently working on?
We are on the verge of completing a working demo that is simple and easily accessible that organizations such as the Land administrations and Customary Land Secretariats (CLS) could use in one suite of tools.
What are the biggest challenges is Bitland organization facing to achieve her goals?
When a project of this nature is presented, many people wonder how it can be guaranteed that the information on Bitland blockchain is correct and available at all times and for this reason, we have done field tests over and over again practically with the communities to see how it works. Currently, the organisations greatest challenge is finance and we are open to donor-funded organisations who will want to support or buy into the project.
What is the long term plan of Bitland?
The communities involved in our training sessions now understand that decentralised and autonomous data archives models, such as one that is provided by the blockchain, can be an interesting alternative to centralised data storage solution and that the Bitland model will eliminate the dependency on a centralised authority and will allow distributed and trusted storage across nodes in the blockchain network. The
The organisation’s long term goal is to partner with government and administrations where Bitland serves as the liaisons between the people needing to register land titles and the officials that currently hold the access to the physical databases to effectively work through digitising the backlogs while continuing to take in new registry requests.