UN releases blockchain tool to help Afghanistan property ownership issues. The United Nations has released a blockchain-powered solution in an effort to assist the Afghan government to manage property ownership issues in the country’s urban areas.
In an announcement on Dec.2, the U.N. Human Settlements Programme, or U.N.-Habitat, will present its new digital land registry solution to the Ministry of Urban Development and Land in Afghanistan in December 2020.
The United Nations first blockchain project for sustainable urban growth in Afghanistan was launched in 2019. Now, with its latest blockchain-enabled digital land registry tool, the UN intends to help Afghanistan solve major problems in urban informal settlements—otherwise known as slums or shanty towns—such as land grabbing, inadequate land usage, and unsafe land tenure in informal settlements.
According to the U.N., over 80% of properties in Afghan cities “are not registered with municipal or national land authorities, and occupants do not have formal ownership documents.”
Known as “‘goLandRegistry,” the new system is designed to record all property documents on a blockchain, as well as issue occupancy certificates. This will allegedly permit property owners to independently demonstrate the authenticity of occupancy certificates using an open-source blockchain verification tool.
The tool is based on a hybrid blockchain platform run by European startup LTO Network. LTO’s CEO Rick Schmitz said that hybrid blockchain solutions enable optimized and decentralized data exchange between stakeholders in the land registry process, removing the need for expensive IT-overhauls.
“By using Live Contracts, data can be automatically distributed to different stakeholders and systems to facilitate land-registry transfers, tax automations, provision of credit, etc.,” Schmitz said.
Maurizio Gazzola, chief of strategic solutions at the U.N. Office of Information and Communications Technology — a partner agency on the project — said that the U.N. wants to provide its digital land registry solution to more countries “The plug-and-play design of the LTO Network’s blockchain and the contribution of transaction tokens for the Afghanistan project enabled the development of the blockchain anchoring mechanisms and the Open Source certificate of ownership verification tool that is now available to any country to utilize as a blockchain add-on to their existing land registry systems.”