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Sweden's Land Registry Demos Live Transaction on a Blockchain

Sweden’s land registry authority and a group of participating banks, businesses and startups have completed the third phase of an ongoing blockchain pilot.

It was announced Friday that the Lantmäteriet has passed the testing checkpoint with the aid of a number of partners. These include financial firms SBAB Bank and Landshypotek, blockchain startup ChromaWay, tech consultancy Kairos Future, real estate search portal Svensk Fastighetsförmedling, telecom Telai Sverige and IT firm Evry.

The group of companies, in sum, provided different elements that, combined, formed the components of the blockchain pilot. For example, Telia and Evry helped verify a live transaction between a buyer and a seller, according to statements. A live demonstration conducted this week included client-side verification of government-approved digital signatures and the final exporting of necessary legal contracts.

Those involved with the initiative said that the smart contract which facilitated the transaction is compliant with European Union laws and regulations, including the GDPR privacy rules.

ChromaWay chief executive Henrik Hjelte said in a statement that “in a distributed environment such as a blockchain, you cannot have a central server for verifying identities, it all has to be based on signatures and verified by the user.”

Project lead Jörgen Modin added:

“Although the project uses centralized ID services, that is those approved by the government, in a blockchain environment these signatures must be put under the same scrutiny as everything else, and hence we do verify in each and every client all the way up to the root certificate.”

The project began early last year, when the Lantmäteriet authorized the partnership with ChromaWay and other firms to explore how private blockchains can carry out property transactions, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

Photo of demonstration courtesy of ChromaWay

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IT Giant Tech Mahindra Joins India's Early Blockchain 'Bulls'

Is India emerging as a blockchain trendsetter?

Certainly, the sector has been moving in fits and starts in what’s becoming the world’s fifth-largest economy. Despite a bearish outlook on cryptocurrencies from regulators, progressive Indian states and companies are charging ahead in exploring the applications of blockchain technology.

Now, there are signs that local companies are seeking to integrate blockchain platforms into major businesses. Announced Thursday, Swedish blockchain startup ChromaWay and Indian IT giant Tech Mahindra are joining hands to bring blockchain solutions to the Indian market.

“This partnership represents an opportunity to leverage our-open source consortium database technology to bring real and measurable improvements to society by empowering individuals, fighting corruption and fostering collaboration,” Henrik Hjelte, CEO of ChromaWay, said.

The project is also expected to build blockchain solutions for government agencies, a release said.

And this wide-lens approach fits with Tech Mahindra’s interests, according to Rachit Batham, head of the company’s Blockchain Center of Excellence.

In statements, he sought to portray the company as willing to invest in exploring how blockchain could be applied to existing verticals and new ecosystems, with initial exploration areas including banking, telecom and healthcare, along with public sector opportunities.

Batham told CoinDesk:

“Tech Mahindra is bullish on blockchain technology, and is making focused investments in building sustainable solutions and platforms.”

Boon for Chromaway

Still, the announcement is a notable one for ChromaWay, which is seeking to position its Postchain technology and its unique combination of SQL database and blockchain technology in a crowded market for enterprise-focused software.

Launched last year, Postchain works with established enterprise database systems like Oracle and Microsoft, or open-source databases like PostgreSQL, and already, the technology is being used in limited trials as part of a land registry platform in Sweden and India.

Andhra Pradesh announced a partnership with blockchain startup ChromaWay to pilot a land registry ledger last October

Tech Mahindra, too, sees the potential for government partnerships to boost its R&D efforts.

Already, the company claims its in talks with the Department of Industries (and a few other state governments) to discuss potential applications for reducing market friction.

Apart from land registration and real estate, August Botsford, technical director at ChromaWay, told CoinDesk that the potential areas of exploration for his startup include trade finance, supply chain management, logistics, maintenance and part tracking.

Market momentum

All this amounts to early signs that blockchain is gaining momentum in India in both in the government and the private sectors.

For example, the government think tank, NITI Aayog, said recently that it is exploring blockchain applications by developing other proofs-of-concept in sectors including education, health and agriculture. It recently revealed a blockchain solution it is working on, to curb the country’s massive counterfeit drugs trade.

State governments such as the government of Maharashtra have also revealed five to six pilot projects to test blockchain technology, as reported by EconomicTimes in February this year.

In this way, Vivek Agarwal, global head of enterprise verticals solutions at Tech Mahindra, stated that blockchain can help address some of the challenges of Indian public sector.

Botsford sees the public sector having huge potential for innovative development in the country.

He concluded:

“There are strong indications that empowering citizens and public agencies by delegating control over vitally important data to those to whom it is most important can help to significantly reduce fraud and increase efficiency.”

Corporate building image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Indian State Partners With Blockchain Startup for Land Registry Pilot

The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is working with startup ChromaWay on a land registry pilot that uses blockchain to track the ownership of property.

The state government has been exploring a number of uses for blockchain in recent months, and in September it inked a separate partnership with startup WISekey related to identity solutions. Andhra Pradesh is one of several regional governments in India to look into applications of the tech, and land registries – systems used to keep track of who owns what property – have been highlighted by other governments worldwide as one area in which the technology could lead to improved services.

The test platform being built with Sweden-based ChromaWay is part of the Fintech Valley Vizag initiative launched by the southeast Indian state.

According to the parties involved, it utilizes a distributed ledger on the back-end and a straightforward web-app front end, which provides “radically transparent access to data,” according to ChromaWay.

J. A. Chowdary, special chief secretary and IT advisor to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, said in a statement:

“Blockchain is the technology of the future. It will not only change the way we perceive processes but it also has the potential to transform the economy. Of course, we all are yet to fully discover this technology and hence the Government of Andhra Pradesh has engaged with startups from across the globe such as Chromaway to run proofs of concept within its own departments.”

The project represents the latest public sector partnership for ChromaWay. Sweden’s land registry authority, the Lantmäteriet, revealed in April that it is working with the startup on a land registry initiative. Other participants in that effort include banks SBAB and Landshypotek, as well as the consultancy Kairos Future.

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