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Brazil And Bitcoin Could Revolutionize The Way Real Estate Is Registered

Delaware start-up nabs massive Brazilian contract by running the country’s property registration system.

By Jeff Vasishta April 11, 2017
Editorial credit: marchello74 / Shutterstock.com

Don’t be intimidated by the terminology. A blockchain is a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. Kind of like if a Tweet went out every time someone bought or sold something. A little too revealing perhaps if you’re planning a surprise anniversary vacation but in the murky world of real estate, where deeds are often the subject of misdeeds, Bitcoin’s blockchain could add a new dimension of transparency.

At least that’s what Dover, Delaware-based start-up Ubitquity LLC hopes. They recently teamed up with the Land Records Bureau in Brazil to and some scrutiny to the South American country’s real estate system. If it proves successful, it could revolutionize the way title searches and title companies operate around the world.

Related: Global Warming Could Sink Coastal Real Estate Market

This is quite a coup for  Ubiquity LLC but it coincided with a desire on Brazil’s side to do away with paper records and implement a system which allowed easier access, higher accuracy, better scalability and transparency.

“Keeping property records—one of the most important documents a person holds—on the blockchain is important in developing markets such as Brazil,” Ubitquity LLC Founder and President, Nathan Wosnack, said in an announcement. “The blockchain allows ownership and title disputes to be handled in a fair and transparent fashion, and serves as a backup in case the original is destroyed or misplaced.”

Success has come fairly quickly for Ubitquity, which has only been developing its real estate platform since September 2015. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform allows the real estate industry and government departments to record, and use public records. The blockchain solution tackles several use cases, from title registrations to tracking forgeries. Currently, a title company would be paid to conduct a title search which can often take a few days. However, if the information was available online, for all to see, a time consuming and expensive process is taken out of the equation.

Related: With Brazilian Real Estate In Tatters, Foreign Investors Advance

The company tested their platform for the first time in June 2016, by recording the first property ownership transfer in Norfolk, Virginia. The following March, Ubitquity’s current alpha software was used to record the first Canadian property on a blockchain. Now they are ramping up to an entire country—Brazil—and it’s not a small one either! Every real estate transaction in Brazil must register through a Cartório de Registro de Imóveis (Real Estate Registry Office). While the process is overseen by the government, they provide exclusive contracts to private companies for record management – hence Ubitquity’s involvement. Good work if you can get it.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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