Overstock Subsidiary Medici Land Governance to Develop Blockchain Land Registry for Zambia
Overstock’s subsidiary Medici Land Governance (MLG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zambian Government to develop a blockchain-powered program for systematic land governance within southern Africa country. Founded in 2018, MLG is the 14th portfolio company in Medici Ventures, Overstock’s blockchain technology accelerator.
The MOU was signed by Trevor Kaunda, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources. The Zambian government will work with MLG to allow rural landowners to validate their estates, as well as gain access to financial services, according to a press release.
Zambia is one of the developing countries where people have no clearly defined property ownership. This hampers economic development in the country. Without the formal ownership, citizens have a hard time obtaining public services and credit access while governments struggle with collecting taxes, enforcing property rights and planning for economic expansion.
Blockchain Land Registry for Zambia
Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock.com, said that the project would help the country move toward a global economy built on trust through technology. He added:
“Such a registry would allow individuals across all socioeconomic classes to build equity and leverage it to their benefit, as it has done in the West for generations.”
The subsidiary’s CEO Dr Ali El Husseini said that “[the] partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Land and Natural Resources has the potential to be a real, sustainable game-changer in reducing poverty and supporting economic development on a large scale.”
“At MLG, we believe that the first step toward reducing global poverty is to build a secure and stable way to record land and property rights. Using our expertise in blockchain, mobile apps, and other technologies, we are building the technology that can do that. I look forward to a future where all land and property services — including utility payments, national and municipal tax collections, and mortgages — are managed on a secure, user-friendly system that provides equal access for all people,” he added.
Medici Land Governance is to come up with systems to collect and easily secure property ownership information. Using the blockchain, Medici Land Governance plans to develop systems to collect and easily secure property ownership information.
MLG is to deliver the title certificates in digital and printed form to the Ministry by November 30, 2018. This serves as a proof concept to scale up the country’s land titling program, systematically and streamlined.
Plans for the full scope of the project include developing a blockchain-based land titling program that includes a mobile platform and capabilities for mobile payments.