HM Land Registry head touts potential of blockchain and geospatial data


HM Land Registry director of Digital, Data and Technology John Abbott has revealed that the government is working with blockchain businesses to make it easier for homeowners to speed up the time it takes to register new property and land ownership.

"There are a lot of exciting possibilities in terms of what can be done with blockchain technology," Abbott told TechTalk Radio's presenter Emily Wright.

"We are looking into what could be done, and whether or not it should be done, through our innovative Digital Street project."

The innovations will form part of the government's Digital Street initiative that aims to make the UK a world leader in land development and registration.

The project has been ongoing for two years and this latest insight demonstrates how technology is facilitating the development of public sector services.

Abbott has also revealed the government in exploring how it can use smart contracts to improve the transparency accuracy and trust when home ownership is transferred.

"All of our work, from exploring the potential of blockchain to investigating how to make the most of our datasets, is conducted in collaboration with people from across the property market we want to make sure that HM Land Registry works for everyone," Abbott added.

Some of Digital Street's existing achievements include building a digital register for a selection of properties in the UK that will eventually allow authorities to update property ownership in real time.

The entries are machine-readable, making it a significant step in the digitisation of government records.

It's a huge task before all 25 million properties (covering 86% of the land in England and Wales) are digitised, but initiatives such as introducing blockchain and smart contracts will make it easier for HM Land Registry to manage.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.