South Burlington, Vermont has launched a new pilot project that will test the use of blockchain technology for recording property transactions. Blockchain is an online distributed ledger that purports to be more secure than some traditional methods of transaction reporting.
The city has partnered with Propy, a real estate platform that uses blockchain to manage its transactions.
South Burlington will work with users as they buy property through the Propy platform and record those deals on the blockchain. All of the paperwork will remain the same and physical copies of deeds will still go to city offices.
The pilot is small – South Burlington has under 25,000 residents – and property doesn’t turn over that much. But, Propy said in a blog post that the pilot will allow it to prove its concept for integration with city services.
Vermont has been largely blockchain friendly on the policy front, but still has a way to go before it can manage all electronic transactions on every type of government business. Total blockchain integration would require transactions to be completed entirely electronically. So far, city officials will just be entering acknowledgement of paperwork and transactions into the online ledger.
Blockchain proponents have been quick to tout its myriad potential uses. However, practical applications using blockchain haven’t really made it to prime time just yet – at least at the government level. Watch this space.