One of the biggest issues that land owners in Colombia face is that they don’t have legal documentation to certify their ownership. This lack of formality deters them from investing in their lands and prevents them from using land as collateral when seeking credit.
To solve these problems, Ripple Labs and its partner Peersyst Technology built a blockchain system to store and verify property titles. The solution is now integrated with Colombia’s national land agency, AgenciaTierras.
1. Real Estate Agents
Earlier this month, Colombia’s government announced the launch of a digital land registry system that uses Ripple’s XRP blockchain. The solution, developed by a firm called Peersyst Technology, will allow the National Land Agency to register and authenticate a record number of property titles.
The move is part of a national initiative to make the country’s blockchain capabilities more advanced. The National Land Agency – AgenciaTierras – will now be able to issue digital certificates, validated and verifiable via QR codes. This is the first use of a digital land registry built on the XRP Ledger, according to Peersyst’s announcement.
In Colombia, the long civil war saw a lot of land confiscated and many people were left without papers to prove their ownership over the land they lived in. This led to a lack of confidence in authorities, and it also made it difficult for land owners to sell or lease their properties.
It’s a problem that Ripple Labs saw as an opportunity to help address with their own product, the XRP Stamp, which helps to verify the authenticity of digital assets registered on the XRP ledger. The company partnered with the National Land Agency in Colombia to build a solution that will allow the agency to register and authenticate digital land titles through the XRP Blockchain.
After 52 years of civil war, land rights in Colombia have been a political priority and a transparent and reliable blockchain system to verify property rights seemed like an excellent way to normalize property rights in the country. But a recent change in government has put a stop to the project and a blockchain expert says it’s likely dead politically.
Two weeks before Colombia’s new president, Gustavo Petro, was sworn in as leader of the country, the previous administration’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications announced that it would be recording land titles on the XRP ledger. This was in partnership with Ripple and the software development firm Persyst Technology.
The Colombian government has partnered with Ripple Labs and blockchain development company Peersyst Technology to put land records on the blockchain. It is part of a plan to fix practices that have contributed to decades of conflict and to make property allocation more equitable.
The initiative is aimed at reducing bureaucracy, and would use Ripple’s public blockchain, the XRP Ledger, to store land titles permanently. This would remove the need for paper documents and ensure that information is available to anyone with a computer, according to Decrypt.
It is not the first time that governments have tried to tokenize land titles: Georgia, Honduras and Ghana have all done so. However, it is a world first for Columbia and could be the start of a revolution in land-related documentation.
This project is being carried out by Peersyst on top of Ripple’s XRP ledger, allowing the agency to issue digital certificates that can be verified via QR codes. The platform also uses XRP Stamp technology to eliminate the need for a traditional seal on paper.
A similar system was introduced by Mexico in 2019, and Wyoming has started to use blockchain for land registry records as well. The UK Land Registry has also been exploring ways to use the technology, and the project is expected to launch in the near future.
Besides Colombia, other countries are using the technology, including Singapore, where FOMO Pay has partnered with Ripple to improve its cross-border treasury flows. In addition, Lithuania-based international money transfer firm Finci teamed up with Ripple to support its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service for settlements between Europe and Mexico.
Banks are increasingly turning to blockchain to secure, optimise and digitalise traditional operations. In fact, 38% of the world’s largest banks by assets have linked with Ripple.
One such partner is R3’s global network, which has partnered with 12 major banks to test an electronic payments system powered by Ripple’s XRP. The trial, which was completed in July, will see the banks use XRP as an asset to enhance liquidity in real time, resulting in savings up to 60 percent of the cost of moving funds across borders.
As cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continue to expand, governments have also started to take notice. They are now using distributed ledgers to secure, optimise and digitalise traditional operations. One of the most recent examples is Colombia, which is partnering with Ripple Labs to maintain land registries on the company’s XRP ledger.
The government’s use of ripples to buy land could prove to be a game changer. It could remove the bureaucracy that has been a hindrance to the country’s growth over the years, and it may also reduce inequitable land distribution that often leads to armed conflicts.
Two weeks before the new President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, was sworn into office, his administration partnered with blockchain development firm Peersyst Technology to record land titles on Ripple’s XRP ledger. The project aimed to resolve issues with inequitable land distribution that had resulted from years of civil war.
According to the companies’ website, the system will permanently store and authenticate property titles on Ripple’s public blockchain. Currently, many Colombians don’t have land certifications on paper, which is why it’s important to use this type of technology.
This is because once information is recorded on a blockchain, it’s impossible to remove it, making it hard for corrupt government officials to manipulate the data. That’s a huge advantage for the country, especially given that it has experienced decades of war.
Earlier this year, Ripple and the country’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications announced the project. It would use blockchain to make visible land deeds awarded through court adjudication, which is common in Colombia due to the 2016 peace accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
However, the project was soon suspended when a change in policy was introduced by the new government. Juan Manuel Noruega Martinez, interim director of the National Land Agency, told Forbes that the initiative was not part of the government’s strategic priorities for 2022.
The government’s move to implement blockchain-based systems for land registries is a smart decision, and it could be the start of many more groundbreaking initiatives in the future. The government’s ability to digitalise its processes and improve efficiency will go a long way towards improving the country’s overall image.
Colombia’s President Andres Manuel Petro, who was elected last year as the first left-wing leader to take office in decades, promises to implement an agrarian reform. In an attempt to alleviate high levels of inequality and provide rural communities with access to land, he plans to buy unused or illegally occupied land and distribute it to local farmers.
But the process of buying and selling land can be difficult and costly, if not impossible, without proper documentation. This is where Ripple’s public blockchain can help.
The company has partnered with Barcelona-based blockchain development firm Peersyst Technology to develop a solution that will allow digital assets to be registered on Ripple’s XRP Ledger and authenticated through a QR code. This solution is being implemented by the Colombian National Land Agency.
According to Ferran Prat, CEO of Peersyst Technology, putting titles on a blockchain will make it impossible for anyone to alter the information and thereby increase trust amongst people. He also believes that the immutable nature of a blockchain will ensure that no landowner can be wrongfully removed from their property by the government or any other entity.
Moreover, he claims that a system like this will also reduce the participation of bureaucracy in the process and hopefully make land distribution more equitable. As a result, this initiative will help eliminate long and winding queues and under-the-table hurdles that can cause people to lose confidence in the government, which could ultimately lead to corruption.
Furthermore, the use of ripples in Colombia is likely to gain widespread support as the country faces an inflation rate of 8% per annum, which has shifted public trust from fiat currencies to cryptos. This is especially the case in the country’s rural regions, where inflation rates can reach up to 40% a year.
As a result, the use of blockchain in Colombia can have a huge impact on the land and agriculture industries. This could make it easier for investors to buy and sell land in the country, and thereby, boost the value of the XRP currency. This in turn can also help in boosting the liquidity of the crypto market.