Blockchain in the Real World: Transforming Digital Records in the Property Development Industry


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.

What We Achieved

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.

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.

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