Application of Blockchain Technology in Land Administration in Ghana

Application of Blockchain Technology in Land Administration in Ghana

Samuel Agbesi (Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark) and Fati Tahiru (Ho Technical University, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3632-2.ch006

Abstract

The administration of lands in Ghana has been a major issue in the past years that has resulted in parties seeking arbitration to determine the rightful owners and others resulting in death because of the land-guard menace. The main issues in land administration in Ghana include modification and falsification of land records, difficulty in authenticating the ownership of land property, sales of land property to more than one customer, and lack of transparency in land transactions. This chapter examines the application of Blockchain in land administration in Ghana to solve the issues of unauthorized modification of land records, difficulties in proven ownership of land properties, and the lack of transparency in land transactions. The proposed solution is based on Ethereum Blockchain technology using a smart contract. The solution used a non-fungible token to represent land properties as a digital asset that can be traded on the proposed solution. The proposed solution provides integrity, immutability, provenance, and transparency in land administration.
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Introduction

Blockchain technology, which was first developed for the sole purpose of digital currency has now been applied successfully in other application domains, such as real estate, voting, food safety, etc. Blockchain use cases have been extended beyond digital currency transactions (Brakeville, & Perepa, 2018). Blockchain technology is been explored in the supply chain industry to track the flow of goods and payments and to ensure transparency in the supply chain (Brakeville et al, 2018). Furthermore, it brings trust, transparency, and auditability in democratic elections (Williams, & Agbesi, 2019) and also “allow securities trades to be settled in minutes rather than days” in the financial sector (Brakeville et al, 2018). The use of blockchain is also been studied to help resolve the numerous challenges that exist in land administration in Ghana. Because in general, blockchain can hold a verifiable transaction that has ever occurred which can solve the risk of double-spending, manipulation of land records and fraud. Double-spending in this context is in terms of selling a piece of property to multiple parties. In this chapter, we will discuss the challenges of land administration in Ghana and look at how blockchain technology can be used to mitigate these challenges. The chapter will introduce the blockchain concepts and discuss how Ethereum blockchain technology using smart contracts can be used to conceptualize blockchain-based land administration architecture.

Land administration can be defined as the process of determining, recording, and disseminating of information about ownership, value, and use of land (Vos, Beentjes, & Lemmen, 2017). It is a “system that is used to locate and identify a real property and to keep a record of past and current data regarding ownership, value, and use of that property” (Stefanović, Pržulj, Ristic, & Stefanović, 2018). The administration of lands in Ghana has been a major issue in the past years which has resulted in parties seeking arbitration to determine the rightful owners and sometimes resulting in death because of the Land-guard menace. The main issues in land administration in Ghana include modification and falsification of land records, difficulty in authenticating the ownership of land property, sales of land property to more than one customer, and lack of transparency in land transactions. But with the advancement and success of blockchain technology in the cryptocurrency domain, it is of the view of the authors that this blockchain technology can be used to resolve the problems enumerated above.

Figure 1.

Blockchain-based Land registration

978-1-7998-3632-2.ch006.f01
(Esatya, n.d.)

The blockchain technology can be used, as shown in figure 1, by both buyers, owners and government agencies such as survey and mapping, land registration and land valuation to validate land properties and determine the rightful owners.

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