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City of Rotterdam will Record Lease Agreements on a Blockchain

Samburaj Das on 12/12/2016


In a notable endorsement and application of blockchain technology, the Dutch City of Rotterdam is working with Deloitte Netherlands and the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to develop a real estate blockchain application to record lease agreements.


First announced by Deloitte Netherlands, the aim of the blockchain pilot project is to conclude legally binding lease contracts “faster and easier” before eventually monitoring rental payments as well.


“By implementing additional blockchain applications in the real estate industry, transaction times and costs can be reduced further,” stated Jan Willem Santing, manager ad Deloitte Real Estate. “Furthermore, it enables decision makers to use data analysis for making future investment decisions on selling, buying and constructing real estate.”


Startups who are among the CIC network will see the rollout of the real estate blockchain application. Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1999, the CIC is the largest network of startups around the world and chose Rotterdam as its first international expansion beyond the United States in July 2015. With room for up to 500 startups in its 140,000 square-foot space, the CIC Innovation Center could have a telling impact on blockchain adoption in the city.


The pilot project is a part of the region’s “Roadmap Next Economy”, an initiative that sees 23 municipalities in the Rotterdam metropolitan region to experiment and pilot disruptive technology like blockchain.


As Deloitte explains:


   “With this project, the city of Rotterdam is taking a major step forward by applying the blockchain as well by offering the blockchain technology to third parties.”


Development of the blockchain application will see a collaborative, co-creative process between the municipality of Rotterdam, CIC and Deloitte.


Rotterdam could soon see real estate lease agreements concluded over a blockchain.


The endeavor to develop blockchain applications on a comprehensive city-wide scale has seen several notable efforts in recent times. Industry startup Factom is a company looking to establish a blockchain-based land title project platform, despite hurdles inherent in its effort to establish a bitcoin blockchain-based solution in Honduras. More recently, Texas-based Factom established a working partnership with the Chinese government to help develop smart cities.


Speaking to CCN earlier, Factom CEO Peter Kirby explained why smart city systems are, in particular, ripe for blockchain disruption.


   One of the most difficult problems in Smart City management is data fidelity. If city decisions are automated based on sensor data, there are serious problems if that data gets manipulated. So, we’re working with partners to build Smart City Systems secured by the blockchain. Every data point gets logged in an immutable database.

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