Blockchain trial claims property transaction process can be cut from three months to three weeks

Software developers and property firms have successfully completed a trial of a global blockchain network that claims to speed up the property transaction process.

Blockchain software provider R3 worked with conveyancing technology firm Search Acumen, banks such as Barclays and law firms including Clifford Chance, to model several property transaction scenarios on a platform called the International Property Network (IPN).

Their aim was to see how much faster the conveyancing and property registration process could be by using blockchain technology that allows for electronic signatures and the safe storage and quick transfer of information online.

All details are recorded on a secure online ledger.

It simulated property sales over a five-day period and the first transaction took less than an hour to complete.

As a result, IPN claims, once other business processes are included and accounting for the time it takes for consumers to make decisions, the end-to-end process could be reduced from more than three months to less than three weeks.

David Rutter, chief executive of R3, said: “There has been plenty of talk about how distributed ledger technology could revolutionise the property industry, but little in the way of tangible results.

“This trial changes that. Not only has it shown that distributed applications work and the benefits are real and substantial, it has also shown that there is huge appetite in the market to evaluate it.”

Christian Woodhouse, head of data and strategic products at Search Acumen, said: “This has far reaching potential to turn the entire home buying and selling process on its head, forever.

“Distributed ledger technology has been an industry buzzword for some time now, and it’s great to be part of an international team of like-minded proptech businesses who are putting that word into meaningful action.

“The results will help transform the current antiquated transaction process into one that’s modern and technology driven, where information is automatically verified and shared securely.”

A spokesman for IPN said the next stage was to build a consortium, including estate agents, to develop the network, with a full launch planned for the autumn.

IPN is already working with the Land Registry on how it can adopt blockchain technology.

It comes after electronic property transaction tool clicktopurchase recorded its first residential sale using blockchain technology last year.

The transaction, which was reported in the blockchain, was for the sale of a four-bedroom investment property in Oldham, Greater Manchester, developed by HS Property Group, for £116,500.

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7 Comments

  1. TwitterSalisPropNews

    Now just the next 12 weeks to correct the legal defects by the lawyers who didnt read the lonline hosted egal papers properly and missed things ?  [laughter emoji]

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  2. ArthurHouse02

    “Simulated” So this wasnt a real sale going through? What a laugh, its a no from me.

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  3. jeremy1960

    Just a thought,  there are conveyancing solicitors out there who still dictate and send letters in the post refusing to use email, how on earth will anyone get them to use a computerised system?

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    1. AgencyInsider

      Computerised system? What, pray tell me kind sir, is a computerised system? Doth my quill pen knoweth of it?

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    2. Michael

      I discussed that with a solicitor a few years ago after my 3rd drive of 10 miles each way to deliver important snail mail to him. He said that he worried that if he had a PC connected to the internet he would get it infected with a virus. I said only if he watches porn at work. He looked rather shocked but I note that he does now have internet connections …… !

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  4. drasperger

    This will be the future of all property transactions; it will start with new build and in the auction space, but eventually all sales and even lettings transactions will be block chain.  Generation z weened on Minecraft and now Fortnite and Ark will be quite happy buying code…… with a side of physical property.  In the end, transactions will be almost instant. The vendor will be expected to “disclose” the full history, employing professionals to encode it. PI insurance for solicitors and surveyors is already on the way up.

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  5. Woodentop

    I don’t think there is anyone out in the world who doesn’t complain about how long it takes to complete conveyancing, many factors are out of the control of the conveyancer but what is needed is an overhauling of the paper pushing which is archaic. Trouble is so many of the people involved in the whole process don’t have the systems, reluctant to use what is available or compatible to communicate with each other. Yet for decades we have software and secure encryptions to make it work.

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