The government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is exploring the use of Blockchain technology in its land ownership system to make it more transparent. To advance this initiative, the government has partnered a Sweden-based startup.

According to the state’s special chief secretary & information technology advisor J. A. Chowdary, there is prevalent corruption in the existing system, with an estimated $700 million paid in bribes to land registrars across India.

"The current system is rife with corruption. It is estimated that $700 million is being paid in bribes at land registrars across India. Fraud is rampant and disputes over titles often end up in court. Matters related to land and property make up about two-thirds of all civil cases in the country."

Brief details of the initiative

Under the agreement, the Blockchain pilot test will be conducted on a hybrid platform that combines elements of Blockchain and traditional database systems. Users will interact with a web application on the front-end, and their data will be processed using the technology on the back-end.

In an email interview with CNBC, the chief executive officer of this startup, Henrik Hjelte, said that they have developed a registry that is secure, resilient, and transparent.

"Using a new architecture combining Blockchain with database, [we] have made a registry that is transparent, resilient and secure, but also has the traditional database features necessary for a registry.”

Problems with land registry fraud is not only an issue in India. In fact, such issues are prevalent in developing regions such as Africa where Blockchain’s transparent and immutable nature could be handy.