Honduras land titles moving to blockchain

Seems like everyone is hopping on the “Blockchain” bandwagon this month…

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/honduras-build-land-title-registry-using-bitcoin-technology-162701917.html#NivxXX1

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This is an absolutely perfect use of the blockchain technology. This is where I see bitcoin and blockchain technologies going. By doing this, they open up HUGE opportunities for securely transfering properties using bitcoin in the future - which is also where I see bitcoin going. A store of value used for large secure transactions. I see SAFE being an"everyday" currency.

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It seems like all week there has been news on this front – Nasdaq etc…

As soon as fortune 500 companies and governments start saving millions of dollars by using the blockchain, Bitcoin will be here to stay for sure, and the media will eventually have to reflect such truth…

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I see your point, but it is important that the blockchain so far does not have any legal reference; not as a money, and certainly not for acquiring ownership (which is a legal statement). It will be interesting to see if, when how and where the blockchain could become a legally supported register. That will be an important day in history

and so this article is really interesting. Great job Factom. Looks like Honduras might be the place where first blockchain touched government and law.

correction: turns out The Isle of Man would be ground zero ! That is not so far from here, Troon Scotland, :slight_smile: Who’d have thought the Irish Sea would see so much decentralisation happening :slight_smile:

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The Blockchain does provide a pretty indisputable notary though – This document existed at this time in this form – I suspect most courts will follow the math…

It is SO much cheaper than a passel of lawyers etc… If the courts see the proof - most companies will take the cheaper route…

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yeah, but I have not heard of a legal precedent so far; and who is going to be the first to buy a house in bitcoin? I’m not sure you can actually.

Answer:

Hmmmm I’m not necessarily saying this is the first, but it has been done.

If you take a look @ Bitpremier you’ll be astonished.

Who will be the first to buy a house in SAFEcoins?

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Factom looks promising but its not that simple.

As Nick Szabo so eloquently wrote, the blockchain is “…unforgeable chain of evidence”.

The biggest challenge with moving established public records to the blockchain is verifying origin.

From the article: “The country’s database was basically hacked. So bureaucrats could get in there and they could get themselves beachfront properties.”

Who decides the new “unforgeable” information was not forged before it entered the blockchain?

Will courts/legal systems will be used to challenge the pre-blockchain titles?

Having something carved in stone doesn’t make it true.

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The fact that it cannot fix history isn’t a deal killer – It is still quite a bit better than the alternatives going forward.

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the question is not that the blockchain is an immutable proof of transactions; the problem is that the protocol does not inherently have authentication built-in (unlike MaidSafe :wink: ). So there might be proof of the transaction, but for transferring ownership (of a house) you need to record that you are now the owner;

That is presumably what Factom is bringing to the table, but it is an additional protocol on top.

And for those who bought the house with bitcoin, good luck proving they are now the owner.

Perhaps when maidsafe comes out we can build such proof of ownership into an app for maidsafe and then use bitcoin/blockchain tech as a public ledger for transfer of ownership. Not that I personally believe it’s everyone’s business that one inspect such things but it could be done. And more to the point it could be done entirely with code without a private company or with a slew of lawyers.

Don’t be so quick to judge. It could be done quite easily.

A sells B a house. B creates a muitisig transaction that that has two parts. The first part sends As amount of coin. The second part takes ownership or the property “token” that exists on the block chain. The multisig nature meaks A must also sign this transaction before it’s valid. Adding his consent that he agrees to the terms.

If B ever needs to prove he owns the house, he signs a message from the buying address. Cryptographic proof that he owns the title, and paid for it.

All off network transactions have thus issue, and so do transactions that involve the network. When I bought my boat, I wrote a contract and created some bill of sale. Essentially the seller and I signed a contract which said if I delivered payment in a certain way, within a certain period, the boat was mine. The same can be done where the payment is by crypto currency, the only issue is ensuring any other registers are updated, e.g. land or real estate register in this case, so that needs to be taken into account, but it is not difficult. In my case there is no registry for boats, so my proof of ownership is the bill of sale and other documentation I required from the seller, backed up by the contract, and if it ever came to it, proving I paid the money.

This is two unrelated things. You can buy with cash and why woulkd that be any different?
That’s a payment, not a transfer of ownership. Get your facts straight.

If you buy a house, whether with cash or with a bank check, the ownership is only passed by a legal deed observed by a notary. You can be in possession of some object but ownership is a legal construction. And if indeed the government of Honduras extends the legal construction of ownership to allow for payment with bitcoins then that would make ownership of land titles possible through the blockchain. It would still require a deed.

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I suspect that most of these notary systems are still going to have paper behind them --You have a hash of the old title, and hash of the new title, and a digital signature indicating that the transfer was legit… The new title would have a hash of the old title, thus chaining the history together – all in all you get a very good chain of evidence - and proof that the titles have not been retroactively monkeyed with after the recorded facts…

Doesn’t remove a squatter / doesn’t fix the falsehoods before the blockchain - but it does make the system transparent and easily auditable.

So imagine there is some unique property token on the blockchain. Just as with bitcoins, you can only be “in the possession of bitcoins” or this property token. You cannot be the “owner of bitcoins” or such property token. Imagine somehow I get hold of your private key and I transfer the bitcoins you “were in possession of” to a wallet that you do not control. How can you claim that I “stole” ie deprived you of “your ownership” of those coins? The only thing that you can state is that you are no longer in the possession of those coins.

Let’s make one thing clear, I am NOT arguing against the technical feasibility of constructing a system that provides (cryptographically hard to forge) evidence of actions taken; the blockchain does this in a decentralised way. Hence bitcoin, and such a system can be extended to other Informational objects.

What I am trying to point out, and what everyone can keep denying, but it’s not going to change: ownership is a legal construction, and as long as laws do not get addressed and provide protection for payments in other forms, such as bitcoin, then I am stating that it is ‘legally’ impossible to obtain ownership. You might get effective possession, such as you can buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin, or even a car and a boat. And you can try to involve contract law and that might work for all moveable objects. But for real estate, and especially for land titles (which in most countries is strongly owned, and controlled by the government as a sovereign state), transferring ownership by payments outside the legally recognised mechanisms, I argue is a risky bet to take (as buyer).

I am not a lawyer, but I do feel I am not the one who needs to get his facts straight in this discussion.

Correct, so it is not relevant how they paid for it.

Incorrect. Land can be gifted (i.e. no payment at all) and ownership can still be transferred and recorded on the blockchain. At the very least one will have a proof. There may be multiple (real and fake) claims, but at least a person will be able to have a contesting claim. And is not used to obtain (out of nowhere), but to transfer, ownership.