ChromaWay has reached the next phase of its blockchain-based property transactions project with Lantmäteriet (Swedish National Land Survey), SBAB, Landshypotek Bank, Telia and Kairos Future. Property transactions, with the expensive and time-consuming paper trails that accompany them, are becoming a popular use case for blockchains.
ChromaWay said contract information, which can be saved locally, in the cloud by the realtor, the banks, or the land registry, can easily be verified and checked with the land registry. This can be done with hashes, a kind of digital ''fingerprint'', which you can use to compare your local version with the blockchain.
If someone changes something in the contract then the fingerprint no longer matches. The complete set of information is only visible for the actors involved in the property transaction. With normal IT systems there is no way to know if a file has been changed between systems or if you have the correct information, with blockchain technology you can establish consensus on the workflow and state of a contract between actors, said a statement.
Henrik Hjelte CEO of ChromaWay, added: "There are three basic functionalities people discuss with blockchain: asset transfer, guaranteeing that the ledger is not manipulated or changed, and a third kind, discussed mainly with Ethereum, which is the contract; so we are securing the process of agreeing upon a contract.
"People misunderstand this and believe that we are making a solution with a bearer instrument that you can actually lose, or be depleted or transferred to some other country or something.
"In this case, it's a contract engine which is verified in the blockchain which confirms that all signatures, all process steps, all relevant data for the transaction, meaning the transaction date, the amount paid, the real estate identity etc is proper."
Hjelte said this is now built and is working in a multi-signage environment; the next stage is integration with the banks and land registry.
"The biggest challenges are the legal aspect and the identification solution. The legal aspect in Sweden is that you have to have a physical signature. That is how the law is interpreted today. We can solve that by making the contract physically also by signing a paper and then we can upload it to the blockchain because the Land Registry can now handle electronic files.
"The EU is also working with a solution and there is ongoing work towards digital signatures but we don't know when they will be fully legalised. We can make intermediary solutions for that in the beginning and get away from the physical archives, which is a great bonus in itself."
Sweden is somewhat more advanced than other countries when it comes to electronic identity. "We are working with Telia but there also others which we can use," said Hjelte. "But in other countries the ID solutions might be a problem. On the other hand we believe that the blockchain is also good at making an ID solution; with the blockchain we can add driver's licences, we can add stamps from local authorities, we can add biometrics, multi-signatures etc."