This year HIVE focuses on the trust inherent in transforming an industry. Something that also is refashioning finance, with the new system of blockchain.

If you own a nice piece of ocean-front property, and I decide I would like that piece of property, and my cousin works in the land registry where we both live, I don’t need to buy the property from you to have it for my weekend parties. I can contact my cousin and ask him to transfer the record over to me.

Yes, that would be illegal, but in some developing countries, I might get away with it. With the application of a bribe here and there, it’s easy for me to change a public record, and hard for you, as the property owner, to rectify the situation. It’s basically your word against the public record, which you have no means of controlling. It happens all the time, according to corruption experts.

“There was so much potential for waste, fraud and corruption and it was very difficult to get the type of change citizens were looking for.”

It’s this sort of problem that blockchain technology could help with, and, in fact, it’s already happening. The Republic of Georgia (the country) has put almost 200,000 public land titles on a system that combines a tamper-proof private blockchain with a public blockchain viewable by anybody. The registry is thought to be one of the first times a government has used the decentralized network underlying bitcoin–a blockchain–for a public service purpose.

“It allow citizens of Georgia to validate the integrity of their record and have that record recorded publicly,” says Tomicah Tillemann, cofounder of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator, which helped to develop the project.

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