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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Blockchain titles could change the power dynamic in Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Not much time has passed since its collaboration with SoftBank, and now the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has another initiative up its sleeve. This time, it paired up with Swedish blockchain firm, ChromaWay, and Bolivian IT company, Jalasof, to implement blockchain-powered land registries in various countries. These include Bolivia, Peru, as well as Paraguay. 

“Our collaboration with the IDB provides the opportunity for partner countries to take advantage of maturing distributed ledger technologies that have been developed and used in other projects,” said ChromaWay CEO and co-founder, Henrik Hjelte. 

In a region known for antiquated (borderline-colonial) land policy, Hjelte attests that deploying this new system could yield positive results. Indeed, when it comes to acquiring secure and reliable land registration, both social and economic benefits could be imminent.

To accomplish this pilot program, the IDB will allegedly provide US$600,000 for the project.

Titles pending…

The “Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain): The Future of Land Titling and Registry“— as the project is called—will presumably streamline outdated land systems. At least that’s what Dave Mejia from Talos Digital believes.

“Blockchain should only be used for adding value and making things better,” said Mejia. With offices in Colombia and the United States, his software development firm specializes in blockchain strategies and engineering.

“At the same time, it reduces inefficiencies and makes things more transparent and robust,” he continued, in classic blockchain enthusiast hype-talk.

But, credit where credit is due. Compared to other startups, ChromaWay’s blockchain technology is a little more multifaceted. Besides being just a blockchain, it offers database features such as effective organization and setting parameters—depending on the data.

Similarly, ChromaWay implements a Postchain—an open-source agglomerator of trusted databases—system connected to a relational database.

Blockchain: the new Tower of Babel

As the largest source of developmental funding throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the IDB realizes that the next step is to incentivize regional governments to adopt this emergent technology.

They’ll have some explaining to do.

Companies like to show off novelties, like Chromaway’s Rell programming language for blockchain and smart contracts. What they often forget to do, though, is explain to us mere-mortals what it all actually means.

The lack of conceptual understanding seems to be understood by Eirivelthon Santos Lima. He is IDB’s project director for environment, rural development, and disaster risk management division in La Paz.

“We need to work with our governments in Latin America to show them the potential of the technology,” Mr. Santos said from his Bolivian offices.

“The issue is very abstract for them and the best way to teach them about this technology and get them interested is to show them how it works from scratch.” He concluded, perhaps with a hint of condescention in his tone.

From the Uruguayan cannabis industry to the Chilean salmon sector, blockchain uses are vast and varied in Latin America. If only us dunces would just understand what it all meant…

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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