The city of Baltimore is piloting an innovative blockchain solution to address its long-standing vacant property problem. Under a $225,000 contract with Medici Land Governance, details of vacant properties will be recorded on a public blockchain over three years.
The goal is a transparent, tamper-proof system tracking property custody and ownership changes.
Industry stakeholders welcome the blockchain pilot, originated by city solicitor Ebony Thompson. They say it will increase efficiency and transparency compared to traditional title searches.
An immutable ledger will show property ownership changes clearly. Katherine Pinkard, CEO of Pinkard Properties, says it enables fractional ownership and investors.
Baltimore has around 13,000 vacant lots, ripe for criminal activity. Current foreclosure delays worsen the issue. The blockchain system will complement the city’s digital title database, protected against cyberattacks. While public-facing, only city administrators can enter data on vacant properties.
Experts say blockchain’s success depends on accurate data input. If effective, real estate agents see potential for property tokenization, improving liquidity and expanding the investor pool. Baltimore’s lead in blockchain innovation could catalyze wider adoption.
With jurisdictions like Israel and Hong Kong also exploring real estate tokenization, blockchain offers promising solutions but requires diligent implementation.
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