Blockchain in the Real World

Blockchain in the real worlldTransforming Digital Records in the Property Development Industry using Blockchain Technology

Business Aspect, New South Wales Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI), the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) and Microsoft worked together to develop a proof-of-concept to demonstrate how the NSW Property Development process could be digitally transformed using Blockchain technology.

The NSW Property Development process is characterised as being complex, fragmented across multiple agencies, lacking in transparency and constrained by a legacy of manual, paper based transactions.

Transformation of the Property Development process is overdue, traditional and mainstream technologies are failing to capture the intricacies and complexities of the process, failing to support a digital document model and failing to meet stakeholder expectations.

The project proposed using Blockchain technology to create a secure, distributed digital transaction ledger. Blockchain is essentially a data structure used to create the digital transaction ledger, and instead of resting with a single provider, it is shared among a distributed network of authorised parties. 

This is a contemporary technology approach proposed by Business Aspect and Microsoft, aided by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and innovation (DFSI) and the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI). The focus was to enable e-government, provide transparency of the entire property development process and make government services responsive to industry needs for secure, simple, transparent, auditable and fast business transactions.

To deliver the proof-of-concept, two technologies proved critical:

  • Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), provides a trusted environment for recording data transactions on a ledger that can be shared (distributed) across many nodes (users).  The ledger can be queried in real time to analyse Development Application transactions.
  • Distributed File System, allows for the real time distribution of digital documents across multiple nodes.  An unchangeable reference of the document version can be stored as a transaction in the ledger. This allows networked users to share digital documents and allows secure managing of document versions.

In combination, these technologies are able to not only track when documents are added and registered as transactions on the ledger (DLT), but the documents are immediately available to authorised users. It also provides historical tracking of any changes, as after the documents are added and registered, any document alterations trigger a transaction on the ledger.

Authorised parties will be able to see the transactions that have occurred, when, and who instigated them, and documents will be viewable, so the land development process can be tracked, audited and analysed.

Download the full report from the Business Aspect website

DISCUSSION PAPER: BLOCKCHAIN IN THE REAL WORLD
The Insiders’ Report on Transforming Digital Records in the Property Development Industry

Download the report


What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a digital ledger where entries are recorded chronologically and publicly.
Is it a publicly owned system and the entries cannot be altered, and so it is seen as a trusted and secure system. Most people will know of it's use in relation to Bitcoins, but it can be used for non-financial purposes such as in the above case to track the documentation entries in a business process across multiple owners.