Wyoming’s Teton County is the first in the US to register land titles on a blockchain-based platform, according to an announcement from Overstock.com. The e-commerce retailer says its blockchain subsidiary Medici Land Governance (MLG) has recorded land records that include warranty deeds, mortgages, release of liens, and other similar documents on its blockchain-based platform.
Teton County is part of the Jackson, Wyoming micropolitan statistical area with just over 23,000 inhabitants. The blockchain recorded records date back to 1996, following Overstock’s collaboration with MLG which was first announced last December.
Patrick Byrne, the founder of Overstock and chairman of Medici Land Governance, made waves last year when he said he was betting big on blockchain in numerous verticals and announced plans to launch tZero, a security token platform that began trading in January.
At the company’s earnings conference call, Byrne’s explained the company’s overall strategy for Medici Ventures, Overstock.com’s wholly-owned blockchain accelerator that aims to use blockchain technology to eliminate middlemen.
“What we’re saying is, we want to have a play wherein blockchain meets identity and blockchain meets land titling and blockchain meets banking and currency. And capital markets from commerce that is blockchain meets supply chain. And lastly, blockchain meets voting.”
In a related push to explore the adoption of crypto, Overstock announced earlier this year that the company would pay part of its taxes in Ohio in crypto.
The application for Wyoming highlights blockchain’s usefulness to streamline bureaucratic processes that are paperwork intensive and subject to human error, forgetfulness and a lack of systemic trust that inevitably generates multiple verifications of various documents proving ownership of a single title. Says Byrne,
“We of Medici Ventures are not dreaming about the things blockchain might do for the world someday. The firms in our keiretsu have been building real blockchain platforms and products, and 2019 is the year that they will begin rolling out of the lab and into the real world (see, for example, Bitt’s deal with the ECCB, or tZERO’s work in Security Tokens). Medici Land Governance is developing various products for use in three African countries, as well as Mexico, and now Wyoming.
In the process of building to meet the needs of our clients in these places, MLG is developing a suite of the most advanced blockchain land governance products in the world. Soon, I hope, we will have countries signing up for this land governance technology, and eventually, our entire ‘Government-as-a-Service’ blockchain technology stack for civilization.”
Says Medici Land Governance CEO Ali El Husseini,
“Wyoming’s adoption of advanced technology to validate property ownership in Teton County is a perfect example of an MLG blockchain-based product in production. This is the first instance of MLG’s work in the United States to implement a blockchain-based registry that assures immutability of records and indicates a clear chain of title. This provides an additional critical layer of protection and facilitates transparency for title holders in any property transaction in Teton County.”
Future updates will also be recorded to the blockchain to establish an immutable chain of land ownership.