The Kenyan government may be planning to change its land ownership policies to support a blockchain-based registry. This is in an attempt to keep accurate records as well as prevent fraudulent behavior such as illegal land grabs. Joseph Mucheru, the information minister, said that he hopes such a registry would offer ‘security, efficiency, and transparency’, thereby hopefully restoring individuals’ faith in the government.
For the past few years, Kenyan citizens have been struggling to claim the ownership of their land, with squatters and illegitimate businesses seizing land for their own gains. Some organizations do this by quickly building structures on other people’s land and then claiming it as their own. In 2015, the government advised people to keep hold of their deeds and to fence off their land to prevent such behavior, but this is only partially effective. Beyond this, Kenyan officials have been known to alter land records for malicious reasons, allowing other people to take land from citizens.
The issue of fraudulent land grabs is something that needs to be tackled head-on— a blockchain registry could prevent this from happening as it would provide immutability and transparency. It makes sense to take advantage of a trustless system such as a blockchain, considering how some corrupt Kenyan officials make it harder to trust government institutions altogether.
Kenya is not the only location that could benefit from a blockchain land registry— Sweden is also looking into it. The country’s primary authority on land, Lantmateriet, has recently completed an experiment that involved placing a segment of current records onto a blockchain network to see if it has any benefit. Lantmateriet says that a private blockchain for land ownership should be ready by as soon as 2019.
Kai is a cryptocurrency copywriter and professional trader. He can often be found investigating various cryptocurrencies, whitepapers, and blockchain technologies. Kai has been a professional writer for 5+ years, and has invested in 50+ different coins and tokens. He also currently studies Law and Philosophy at university.