People's homes are most often their biggest asset -- something that can be borrowed against to start a business or secure a safe retirement. In the developing world, property titles take on even more meaning. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, for example, has identified trillions of dollars of "dead capital" in the developing world: people living in the world's poorest slums own their homes, but without formal titles they can't easily sell, appraise, insure or borrow against those assets.
Here, too, the timestamped power of the blockchain could help. Using this decentralised ledger to keep track of the many transactions that accumulate over time with a specific land deed could greatly reduce both the costs and headaches associated with managing them. The blockchain's interoperability should also mean that these benefits can be carried across borders so that data from different land registries apply across geographic zones.
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