Honduras is reportedly working with blockchain technology startup Factom on a new way of administering the country’s land registry records.
Honduras is an impoverished country in Central America with a population of about 8 million. Its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranks as one of the world’s lowest, while government debt has more than quadrupled since 2008. It has the world’s highest murder rate and serves as one of the major drug routes to the US.
The country’s land registry is also in disarray. Factom President Peter Kirby told Reuters:
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“In the past, Honduras has struggled with land title fraud. The country’s database was basically hacked. So bureaucrats could get in there and they could get themselves beachfront properties.”
In conjunction with another blockchain technology startup focusing on title software, Epigraph, the venture would permanently etch records of ownership that cannot be tampered with. Kirby said that more secure mortgages, contracts and mineral rights can then follow. He added that owners of undocumented land comprising as much as 60 percent of the total- would now have the incentive to register their properties.
Factom is a startup looking to help businesses and governments use the blockchain as a new way of record keeping for various applications. They have not disclosed the financial details of this project. The final goal is to have all titles registered on the blockchain, with the end of this year targeted for completion.
The government in Isle of Man, once envisioned as a future Bitcoin haven, has also been reportedly interested in blockchain technology for administrative purposes. The governments join a number of big names in the financial world, most recently Nasdaq, that are also looking into using the technology.