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Blockchain and the Indian Real Estate: Are We Ready for it?

Blockchain in Real Estate RealtyMyths

by Akhilesh K Prasad

The popularity of cryptocurrency has surged in the last few years. The underlying technology behind it, i.e., Blockchain, can be used in various other fields. Blockchains are best known for keeping track of digital currencies like Bitcoins, Zcash, Litecoin and so on. Of late, government agencies are exploring how digital ledgers can be used to keep track of something tangible, like real estate. Blockchain can not only be used as a payment solution. But, it will also provide greater transparency to the transactions, thereby making them faster, frugal and resilient against scams.

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is a software that was actually developed as a means to store digital currency. With time the software has been developed and now has more storage capabilities. The information held in the Blockchain is accessible to all entities in the chain, unlike initially when one entity was in control of that information. Thus, it now offers a system whereby transactions will be recorded and will leave a digital trail. Such information can be verified in real time. So, transactions are smoother, more secure and quicker.

How can Blockchain help the real estate sector in India?

Blockchain can be beneficial to the Indian real estate in many ways. Firstly, real estate professionals will not need to enter data several times in several places. This would also cut the chances of human error and data discrepancies.

Cryptocurrency is already being used as a medium of exchange. It avoids intermediaries such as banks. In the near future, Blockchain will also be used for transferring conventional money and national digital currencies issued by central banks and Blockchain real estate investments.

The Indian real estate sector is plagued by land title disputes and frauds arising thereof. This is attributed to land records dating back to the colonial era. The use of Blockchain in real estate transactions could drastically reduce such fraud and make the system efficient.

Blockchain eliminates the need of overlapping of records. It creates one permanent public ledger of all transactions. Consequently, once a real estate transaction is on Blockchain, it can be tracked by all interested parties without any hassles.

Banks and insurers will also have to spend less time, energy and money in the verification of records. This will lead to quicker loan approvals and lower processing costs.

Is the Indian real estate ready for the implementation of Blockchain?

Indians have perhaps exhibited more resistance to change than any other country. There is a possibility that any move by the government to indicate the implementation of Blockchain in real estate will face the same fate. Yet, there are several pointers that are telling that implementation of Blockchain in India, might not be such a far-fetched idea after all.

Post demonetization, there has been a greater acceptance in the Indian market for digital currency and e-wallets. Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are also becoming more popular by the day.

The present government has also exhibited the keenness in taking initiative with the implementation of reforms such as demonetization, GST and RERA. The government has also completed the herculean task of issuing biometric-based identification to citizens under AADHAR. That shows India is in the process of going digital.

Land records are being digitized by all states, though some states are lagging. Property and company related documents are now available online. The implementation of RERA has also systematized the real estate sector.

Considering the aforesaid, it is clear that the Indian real estate sector is poised for the implementation of Blockchain. The sooner it happens, the better.

An MBA by qualification, Akhilesh has dabbled into various businesses. He is a keen    debater, data miner and analytically inclined. His blogs tend to present a fresh perspective on any given matter

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