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Real estate to test blockchain tech on land transactions

Land Laybay will launch a test land registry in April which will mirror the Ministry of Lands registry/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 5 – Real estate firm Land Layby is set to introduce Blockchain technology in Kenya’s real estate sector to help people acquire and sell land transparently.

Land Layby Chief Innovation Officer Peter Tole says the firm is set to roll out a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) for a blockchain-powered land registry by April 2018.

The blockchain-powered land registry will eliminate hidden costs and unnecessary intermediaries involved in the buying and selling of land while reducing transaction significantly.

It will also enhance data security and eliminate manual errors and duplication of verification processes.

Blockchain technology records details of every transaction into a digital ledger which cannot be deleted or manipulated.

“What the technology seeks to address is double selling of land, corruption by middlemen and unjustified cases of demolition,” Tole told Capital FM Business.

The technology which is being used for the first time in Kenya has been lauded for its ability to reduce human error or fraud.

“This innovation will transform Kenya’s land buying and selling process that is often characterized by manual records, missing documents, and duplicate title deeds. This will be East and Central Africa’s first blockchain powered land registry, and we are proud that it begins in Kenya,” said Tole said.

The platform will contain verifiable records of every transaction thus mitigating the risk of fraud, abuse and manipulation of transactions.

“We hope to permanently address the trust gap in property transactions in the country by disclosing land and land options to the public, but with special privacy requirements. The initial role of the platform will be to provide a mirror reflection of the Government Land Registry systems,” he added.

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Land buyers, particularly those living in the diaspora have lost huge amounts of money to friends, relatives and conmen posing as professionals.

The existing system inefficiencies make it difficult to verify the authenticity of property ownership records which creates room for fraud.

“The geographical barrier, in the case of a diaspora investor, impedes the enforcement of legal contracts in instances of fraud and breach of trust. We now have a grand opportunity to significantly alleviate such incessant challenges in our real estate industry permanently,” Tole noted.

Land Layby Kenya Ltd is the pioneer of buy now, pay tomorrow land system in Kenya specialised in Land Banking – Buying land on the outskirts of a big city, land in the pathway of development and waiting passively or actively until residential developers make it appreciate in value.

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