Will Keep Exploring Blockchain, Says Finance Minister: Here’s One Way It Can Transform Governance
Why bringing land records on blockchain is a transformative idea
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated the Union Government’s stand against crypto currencies such as bitcoin in the 2018 Union Budget. However, regarding blockchain technology, he stated that it will be utilised by Government, .
What exactly is blockchain?
Blockchain is a growing list of records that are linked to each other. , it is like a spreadsheet that has been duplicated across a network of computers, and the network is designed such that it regularly updates the spreadsheet. Blockchain stores blocks of information identically across its network. This means that it cannot be controlled by any single entity, and has no single point of failure. Blockchain can be utilised for various purposes by the government, for example, to implement a secure record-keeping system. This can especially helpful with respect to land registries.
Blockchain technology can be this purpose. How? It allows to create permanent public “ledgers” of land data, which can then be viewed by all parties involved - banks, brokers, government and so on. This will result in faster land transactions, along with an assurance on transparency. The files or data cannot be manipulated across the board, since doing that will require overriding the entire work, and if the data is manipulated, then it can be easily traced since transaction data and timestamp are also encoded in a ‘block’. The introduction of a blockchain land registry could potentially secure land ownership. The current system of property transfer involves a great deal of delay and bureaucratic haggling. It involves physical ledgers that bureaucrats can easily manipulate. Somebody’s land can be usurped by a set of fake documents - the fact that right to property is not a constitutional right doesn’t help either.
However, land records are being made digital through Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme. But this system is not hack-free, it is still susceptible to subversion by bad actors. This is why blockchain can be transformative.
The authors would like to thank Mandar Kagade for his inputs.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.