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How Blockchain Technology Can Streamline Transfers of Land Ownership

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Many Kenyans rely on brokers and advocates when it comes to the transfer of land title deeds due to the tedious amount of paperwork and long queues they have to deal with otherwise. The result is that most advocates or brokers end up taking advantage of the situation by charging high fees with some transactions even being rather unscrupulous. However, if planned blockchain technology adoption by Kenya gets the green light, things could change for the better as a blockchain-based process can create transparency by linking an individual’s details with his or her land or any other property they own.

The Blockchain is an immutable distributed digital ledger that is used to record and process transactions across a decentralised web of computers. Land records stored using the technology will thus be void of fraudulent editing, human error, and deletion.

The use of blockchain technology in resolving land registry issues will put Kenya on the map together with developed countries that are already utilising the technology for its endless benefits. This also comes at a time when leaders in the technology industry have been researching on the use of blockchain technology beyond digital currencies.

Transparency in Land Ownership and Transfers

In December 2016, the Kenyan government issued a statement saying they were piloting the use of the technology to keep track of land transactions and educational data according to BusinessDaily.

“This will not only increase security but will also help fight corruption by distributing the maintenance of records to all parties involved, rather than to a few. By allowing participants to see who owns, sells, and divides land, the technology will enhance verification and transparency,” said the Technical Manager, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Mr Lyford-Smith.

The institute is an accountant’s body based in the United Kingdom and is a pioneer member of the Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance. The institute stated that blockchain technology can boost coherence in land registry.

In the latest report released by Blockchain and the Future of Accountancy, the institute believes that land registration can gain from the technology, particularly in the history and transfer of proprietary rights of property.

Mr. Lyford-Smith went on to add,

“The technology can create a clear and permanent record of ownership and transfer of ownership, which can facilitate additional liquidity in the economy.”

The report cited examples of the use of blockchain technology to digitise title deeds and minimise property fraud that were done in Sweden, Georgia, and Honduras. In Honduras for instance, the report highlights how corruption can be a thing of the past by use of the blockchain to issue land title deeds that are free from any human edits while the government of Georgia has partnered with BitFury to develop a blockchain-based network for land registration. Bringing it closer home to Africa, Bitland, a Ghanaian-based startup, is also making use of blockchain technology to provide land registry services.

Ending an Era of Fraudulent Brokers and Advocates

Land cartels have for a long time now been conning unsuspecting Kenyans. Many experts feel the Kenyan government should emulate the countries that are already utilising the blockchain as most Kenyans have lost trust in the purity of title deeds and security of tenure.

The report by ICAEW indicates that the process of land registry on the blockchain would begin by tokenising the land in question. This means each portion of land will have a representation created that showcases it as a digital asset recorded on the blockchain after which each landowner will have the right tokens issued to them. While the benefits of blockchain technology are massive and beneficial, the report observes that the change process is no small task based on the complexity of the existing structures.

The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning recently upgraded its electronic management system so as to fasten the transaction process. This means that Kenyan citizens will now need to make use of the e-citizen platform to pay for all the necessary duties and fees online.

“For your land to be listed on the ‘manage property’ page, you are required to validate it with your local land registry with your original title or certificate of lease, your original Identity Card (ID) and Kenya Revenue Authority pin during working hours,” mentioned Nicholas Muraguri, Lands principal secretary.

Kenya, being an economic giant in the East African region, will gain a lot by implementing the land registry process using blockchain technology and can join countries like Ghana and Rwanda that are already making use of the technology to digitise their land registry process.

Blockchain Technology

IBM, Ford, LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt Join Forces in Cobalt-Tracking Blockchain Project in Congo

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Technology giant IBM, carmaker Ford, China’s Huayou Cobalt, and South Korean cathode maker LG Chem have partnered in a new blockchain project that is set to monitor the supply chain of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Making Cobalt Mining “Cleaner” in the Congo

The project is meant to help manufacturers ensure that children are not involved in the mining process for cobalt that is used in lithium-ion batteries and neither does it fuel any type of conflict, according to a report by Reuters. Responsible-sourcing group RCS Group has been overseeing the pilot project since December of last year until it was officially announced on Wednesday.

cobalt blockchain congoIn the past few years, companies have been put under pressure by investors and consumers to prove that no human right abuses occur when minerals are mined. However, this has been a huge challenge given that manufacturers had no way of tracking the entire journey of the raw materials.

The project will focus on the industrially mined cobalt in Congo and monitor the supply chain process of lithium-ion batteries that are used in Ford vehicles.

DR Congo, a country that is afflicted with political tension and civil war, has a huge concentration of cobalt that is needed in high volumes for electronic devices and electric vehicles. The outcome of the elections that were held in December are still being contested to date despite being Congo’s first democratic elections to be held in six decades and were geared towards change of power.

Blockchain-based Cobalt Tracking Platform

According to RCS Group, the IBM blockchain platform may be used to incorporate other minerals as well as give artisanal miners an opportunity to be part of a blockchain-based network of authorised participants in the future.

The pilot project, which is expected to end around mid-2019, will see cobalt from the Huayou’s industrial mine be placed in secure bags, recorded onto the blockchain and tracked from the mine and smelter to the cathode and battery plant owned by LG Chem in South Korea and then to Ford’s plant in the United States.

Minerals can be difficult to track given that they are often mixed with minerals from different sources in the smelting process. To counter this, the RCS project is expected to implement best practices by making use of the guidelines developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

IBM also has plans to explore the probability of chemical analysis using artificial intelligence to identify the origin of cobalt and certify that clean cobalt was not fused with minerals that were sourced in an irresponsible manner.

Speaking to Reuters, the General Manager of IBM’s mining and industrial sector business, said: “There is no fool-proof method, but you have to keep the ball moving forward, to keep raising the level of accuracy. Blockchain has been proven to be a very effective technology in raising the bar.”

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Blockchain Technology

ConsenSys Partners With Black Girls Code to Teach Blockchain Coding to Young Women of Colour

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Black Girls Code

ConsenSys – the leading Ethereum development lab – has partnered with the non-for-profit organisation Black Girls Code to increase the number of young women of colour in the computer programming community.

ConsenSys and Black Girls Code to Teach Blockchain Coding to South African Girls

Black Girls Code

Image by BlackGirlsCode.com

With its focus centred on impacting young women with blockchain coding knowledge, ConsenSys and Black Girls Code have decided to create a comprehensive blockchain technical training curriculum that will cover topics such as cryptocurrency, the fundamentals of blockchain technology as well as solving for user experience problems. Through this, young women of colour will be provided with everything they need to make an entrance into the blockchain industry.

According to a recent report by Forbes, young women between the age 7 to 17 across Black Girls Code chapters in Oakland, New York City, Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa will be the focus of the training program.

This partnership program will represent the very first blockchain training program on a national scale for young women of colour.

The Black Girls Code Token

Using the black girls code token, these young girls will be able to practice what they have learned. They will use the token to create their own cryptocurrencies as well as their own smart contracts.

So far, about 60 students have been introduced to blockchain basics (from Solidity development to aspects of cryptocurrency philosophy) through the program.

Speaking about the effectiveness of the project, Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code’s CEO stated that:

“Our BGC tech divas have embraced blockchain technology with vigour and are excited by its potential to create equity and impact on a global scale. This partnership is an extremely important addition to an already vibrant ecosystem which will flourish by this influx of fresh ideas, perspectives, and insights.”

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Blockchain Technology

CannaSOS Launches its Anonymous Cryptocurrency Wallet, PTPWallet, for Android and iOS Users

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PTPWallet

CannaSOS has completed the development of its PTPWallet – a hybrid cryptocurrency wallet that has been created to connect businesses and users in the crypto space. The mobile wallet was launched on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and is now available for download.

CannaSOS’ Contribution to the Cannabis Industry

CannaSOSCannaSOS is a social platform for the Cannabis industry that hopes to change the way cannabis enthusiasts interact with their peers and businesses. The company developed the PTPWallet in order to address the need for a payment processor for the cannabis industry. However, a change in the company’s long-term objectives saw CannaSOS develop a wallet that would serve all industries worldwide.

Oleg Cheine, the President and Founder of CannaSOS Corp, said in a press release: “We are very happy and proud to announce that after 11 months of development, PTPWallet is finally live on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. We see the application bridging the gap in the retail sector; something that is crucially missing in the crypto industry.”

The PTP Wallet

The team behind PTPWallet considers it a “revolution”. This is based on the fact that the cryptocurrency wallet includes a centralised and decentralised technology that seeks to ease the use of its users. Although funds that are sent or withdrawn from the PTPWallet undergo the normal decentralised way, all transactions made within the wallet undergo centralised technology. This means that all transactions done within the wallet are instantaneous, fully anonymous and that the platform can process millions of transactions each second.

The PTPWallet has an inbuilt referral program and a game called ‘Drain the Bank’ that is akin to a lottery. In addition, the wallet provides users with the ability to build a business page as well as build a loyalty program that provides users with cash back in crypto for purchases they make. The wallet also gives users the ability to send digital currencies via email and SMS making it the only wallet with such a feature.

Cheine went on to add: “After conducting many surveys, businesses, for example, don’t really care about decentralised or centralised technology. They all want to use crypto but have to deal with slow transactions speeds and for there to be too much transparency – which could lead to potential hacker attacks or robberies. So, what we did is we incorporated both centralised and decentralised technology, flopped in a bunch of cool new features and now businesses are more connected with our users. The app is free to use and setup takes only around three minutes when you include the business page and loyalty program.”

CannaSOS gave users who installed and tested the PTPWallet 1,000 crypto coins for the first six days after it launched in order to celebrate the launch of the app. Users who download the app after the first six days will get 800 crypto coins for the next six days and the coin amount will keep decreasing.

The app is currently available on both Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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