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Cook County Recorder of Deeds starts testing Blockchain for real estate transactions

By Mike Wheatley | November 24, 2016

We’ve already explored the ways in which blockchain technology is set to transform the real estate industry. Now, the Cook County, Illinois Recorder of Deeds Office is making blockchain in real estate a reality, pioneering its use via a partnership with a startup called Velox. The office has become the first U.S. government agency to begin experimenting with using blockchain for secure record keeping.


“The Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office has been closely watching blockchain technology as the next-generation land records system, and we are excited to partner with a group that is actually interested in how this technology can work in real-world situations,” said John Mirkovic, Deputy Recorder of Deeds for Communication and IT, in a statement. “A blockchain-based public record is where you would start if you were to create a public land record from scratch, and that’s why I’m so interested in seeing this take a foothold in the United States.”

Using the blockchain, it’s possible to give every single property in the country a unique digital address that keeps track of its transaction history. This data can be stored online and viewed by anyone, which should speed up and make the real estate transaction process much more transparent for buyers and sellers alike.

The big thing about Blockchain is that it’s able to speed up transactions through its method of secure validation of a property transaction’s details, Velox officials explained.

The Cook County Recorder of Deeds explained that it maintains its own land records management system, and said in a statement it’s excited to be testing the technology as a new way of securely storing data. Blockchain allows the data to be stored in an unhackable internal records structure, that benefits both the record keepers, tax payers, and buyers and sellers.

In a statement, Velox said it will work with Cook County’s Recorder of Deeds to start a pilot program that aims to test compatibility between the client-server database model and distributed ledgers. These tests should help recorders to keep better data on vacant buildings in Chicago, thereby helping to reduce fraudulent conveyance and use. In addition, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds hopes to use Blockchain to create a protected and public record of real estate data that’s immune to cyberattacks and hacking, and provides a way to process electronic deeds and paperless land transfers.

“Our software will help Cook County test how blockchain can further their mission to reduce fraud, simplify recording, and decrease costs to their residents,” said Velox CEO Ragnar Lifthrasir. “John and his team are leading the way for other government agencies in the United States.”

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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