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South Australia explores blockchain for conveyancing transactions


The South Australian (SA) government is exploring blockchain for interoperability of systems run by eConveyancing transaction operators. A report said that the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has put out a call for information to understand the “feasibility” of the technology as new Electronic Lodgment Network Operators (ELNO) get approved.

In Australia, electronic conveyancing is carried out by ELNO’s forming an Electronic Lodgment Network (ELN). Before being digitized, conveyancing transactions involved a lot of manual paperwork for preparation of registry documents, the settlement of the funds and lodging the formalities with the land registry.

Econveyancing operators are approved by the registrar of each state and territory to operate in the jurisdiction. While the number of such organizations has been scarce in the country, new operators are slowly cropping up. The SA government is trying to find a solution for different ELNO’s to communicate with each other while carrying out eConveyancing transactions.

“DLT would support ELNs to process a dealing (or set of dealings) and allow subscribers to use common credentials to systems in the electronic conveyancing ecosystem,” itnews reported the department as saying. DPTI added that the seller and buyer in a property transaction might use different ELNO systems which currently cannot interoperate with each other.

While it was not mentioned in the report, blockchain can also secure electronic settlements by providing an immutable ledger. Last year, hackers stole millions from Property Exchange Australia, one such eConveyancing operator.

Apart from the specific requirement of the SA government, blockchain is also being used for other aspects of land registration. Recently, UAE’s Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities partnered with Tech Mahindra to put all property documents on a blockchain.

A few months ago, the Instant Property Network announced the completion of a test for a blockchain property transaction system that connects all parties in a real estate transaction.

In the UK, Her Majesty’s Land Registry is also exploring blockchain for buying and selling houses.