A partnership between the Colombian government and Ripple Labs to put land titles on the blockchain appears to have stalled following the project being “deprioritized” by the new administration.
The project was initially announced by the outgoing government’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications just two weeks before the newly elected president Gustavo Petro was sworn into office.
According to a Wednesday report from Forbes, the interim director of the National Lands Agency, Juan Manuel Noruega Martínez, said the project is not part of the agency’s strategic priorities for 2022, stating:
“This isn’t one of the projects defined in the PETI [Strategic Plan for Information Technologies]”
The shift comes as something of a surprise, considering Colombia’s new president is thought to be friendly toward cryptocurrencies and has previously tweeted his support for them.
The partnership, which included Colombia’s National Land Agency, Ripple and software development firm Peersyst Technology, aimed to tokenize real estate on the blockchain to improve property search processes, create transparent and cheaper property title management and more efficient processing of financing and payments.
Within the peace agreement in 2016 that officially marked the end of the Colombian conflict was a directive to formalize the property titles for small and medium rural properties. According to a 2013 report, only one of every two small farmers has formal rights to their land.
This lack of formality deters farmers from investing in lands and prevents land from being used as collateral when seeking credit. A blockchain ledger for real estate aimed to solve this by providing landowners with security and an incentive to invest in their property.
Related: Real estate leads securitized blockchain assets in 2022 — Report
The registry was launched on July 1, as tweeted by Peersyst Technology, after having been in development for a year.
On July 30, Peersyst tweeted that the first deed had been added to the ledger, with the land certificate looking like any other except for the QR code incorporated into it verifying the certificate on the blockchain. The QR code can be used by anyone to find the property deed’s location on the XRP blockchain.
There have been no further updates relating to the joint project. Cointelegraph has contacted Ripple Labs seeking comment on any progress but has not heard an immediate response.