Blockchain technology has been said to be one of the most disruptive technologies in the world today. It’s said to have the power to reshape many industries and make things a lot easier for people around the world without being terribly expensive. It is using blockchain technology that the United Nations wants to tackle issues in Afghanistan’s cities, such as inefficient use of space and land grabbing.

According to an announcement made on Dec. 2, the U.N. Habitat took up the mantle of helping alleviate the Afghan government’s pressure regarding property management issues and planning in their urban centers. By leveraging blockchain technology, the UN was able to create a new digital land registry to serve the Ministry of Urban Development and Land in Afghanistan starting from December 2020.

The problem

According to the UN’s statistics, more than 80% of the properties found in Afghan cities are not registered with the appropriate authorities. This means that these people haven’t registered their land with national or municipal authorities and consequently don’t have formal documents to prove ownership. Urban informal settlements are quite a problem in this country. In these slums, vices such as land grabbing, insecure land tenure, and inefficient use of the available space are bringing on further complications with planning and development, meaning the residents of these areas are left behind.

The solution

The UN leveraged blockchain technology to create an immutable ledger of all the land in the area and its corresponding owners to solve this problem. The “goLandRegistry,” a new system designed to record all the property records onto a blockchain for safekeeping and issue certificates for these landowners. With the system in place, property owners can easily demonstrate ownership of certain pieces of land independently using an open-source blockchain verification tool and validate certificates. With these innovations in place, people can easily identify legitimate people from those who simply want to steal from them.

By leveraging this technology, we can make sure that malicious and corrupt officials cannot tamper with the records or change them without proper approval from all the stakeholders. This tool is specially made to enable an open, decentralized exchange of data between the various offices in the land registry process based on a hybrid blockchain platform. With this hybrid network in place, then there isn’t any need for an expensive IT reconfiguration and overhaul.

Blockchain in tackling UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN has identified blockchain technology as one of the main technologies that can be used to realize its sustainable development goals. Since blockchain is essentially the technology of trust, there are a few ways it can be used to make life better for people all over the world. Blockchain embodies openness, trust, and transparency through its design, therefore, it can be instrumental in solving some of the world’s toughest issues. These include:

Poverty

In a bid to improve people’s way of living, blockchain-based tokens can be used to solve the problem of the more than 2 billion unbanked population worldwide. Initiatives such as CariCoin and BitPesa are slowly gaining traction and making an impact on the global remittance market, which is dominated by financial services behemoths.

Health and well-being

Record keeping in some of the more remote areas of the world is ever a challenge. That’s because keeping the records safe, accurate, and up to date is very challenging, not to mention expensive. By using blockchain technology, hospital records can be stored on a decentralized network. This will allow health care professionals to access them regardless of geographical locations. This way, medical professionals can provide the patient with the best help knowing full well the patient’s medical histories.