The County Auditors’ Association of Ohio (CAAO) are getting ahead in the property game by using blockchain to complete real estate transactions, according to a report. They have formed a working group to study how the technology can be used to efficiently transfer property deeds, saving time and paper. They will partner with SafeChain, an Ohio-based startup who build software in order to increase title closing capability while decreasing the liability faced by title specialists.
The group will be chaired by Warren County Auditor Matt Nolan, who said that County Auditors’ offices have some of the most high-tech operations in the state. “CAAO has set an extremely high standard for getting involved in technology projects due to the need to recognize its members’ diverse needs,” he said. “This makes the formation of this working group particularly noteworthy”.
SafeChain say that the use of blockchain will speed up transactions and offer more security to both buyer and seller by verifying users’ identities and bank accounts. It is envisaged that a fully digital process means the buyer, seller, bank and title company need never meet, yet still complete the sale of a property.
“In recognition of the State of Ohio’s overall initiatives to modernize government, the goal of this working group is to consider how County Auditors can be forward thinking to improve the taxpayer experience in conveying and transferring real property,” said CAAO President, Alan Harold. “For these types of projects to be successful and widely adopted, they require collaboration”.
Retrieve Your Deed From The Blockchain
According to auditor Clarence Mingo, the first public official in Ohio to experiment with the technology in this way, the process is “nearly hack-proof, but still gives each party total control of their aspect of that transaction”. Mingo used SafeChain to transfer 37 properties through a foreclosure auction, which allowed potential buyers to bid online. Once the bid was accepted, the buyer could then retrieve their deed from the blockchain after a bar code was added to the original record.
“Although we have a lot of work to do meet our goals, we have a committed group of engaged officials to advance their knowledge and expertise to enhance technology and improve government operations to the benefit of the taxpayer,” Nolan said. We have assembled a group of forward-thinking, collaborative officials, ready to get to work.”
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