The Swedish government is piloting a blockchain database intended to significantly streamline real-estate transactions. The database would allow for trusted digital verification of purchasing contracts, bills of sale, mortgage deeds, and other critical documents. It could also shorten the time between the writing of a purchase contract and the final registration of the asset transfer from months to days, and, in some cases, hours, while also reducing the risk of errors and fraud.
Lantmäteriet, the Swedish land-registry authority, would provide a mobile app that all the parties to a real-estate transaction could use to exchange information, sign legally binding documents, and perform necessary property checks—all organized into a work flow that can be completed quickly. The application would communicate with blockchain-enabled databases on the back end of the land-registry authority’s IT architectures. The digital ledger would record each step of a real-estate transaction as well as the property titles themselves. Bank representatives and real-estate agents would have direct access to Lantmäteriet systems; and secure information would always be up to date and just a click away. This would help reduce processing time and legwork.
Because contracts and other critical documents would be rendered in digital form and signed digitally, there would be no need to create multiple paper copies, mail them, and then wait for signatures and responses. Everyone involved could retain a copy of the purchase agreement on their mobile phones; each copy would have a verification code registered in the blockchain. Since digital signatures would be provided with the same application at several instances, the risk of errors and fraud would be reduced. And Lantmäteriet would be involved in the purchase process throughout, rather than intermittently or at end stages—which could create greater confidence and transparency.