A new blockchain-based initiative in Africa, Bitland aims to remove corruption and free up trillions of dollars in locked capital for infrastructure development. The organisation will provide services to allow individuals and groups to survey land and record title deeds on the Bitland blockchain – providing a permanent and auditable record – as well as acting as liaison with the government to help resolve disputes. The project is being piloted with 28 communities in Kumasi, Ghana, with the intention of expanding across the African continent. The idea is similar to Factom’s Honduras project.
Since land that doesn’t have a functional title cannot be used as capital, and securing a mortgage to build or purchase homes is not possible, bringing clarity to land ownership rights will not only reduce corruption, but will open up trillions of dollars in locked capital. In low-income countries like Ghana, people are concerned with basic needs and infrastructure such as running water and paved roads. The Bitland team will use blockchain technology to help accelerate infrastructure development by freeing up capital – without the corruption and abuses of power that have plagued such projects in the past.
Bitland cannot depend on unreliable existing local infrastructure so it plans to set up solar-powered Bitland centres that will function as hardware hubs for the Bitland Wireless Network. These hubs will double as education centres for local people to learn about digital solutions and how to get involved in the project.
The Bitland team is using the OpenLedger platform as the basis of their blockchain infrastructure. Ronny Boesing, CEO of crypto exchange CCEDK – OpenLedger’s Danish registrar, commented: “OpenLedger is built on top of the BitShares platform and its MIT-licensed Graphene blockchain technology.
BitShares was recently confirmed as a partner with the Microsoft Azure BaaS, and the Bitland project reflects the vast number of opportunities emerging as more mainstream companies realise that this is what they have all been waiting for to maximize income and future communication. As more organisations join the OpenLedger/BitShares platform, you can be sure that this Decentralised Conglomerate will exemplify the future of global economics.”
Bitland will be issuing a digital currency called Cadastrals, which will act as the entry token for their blockchain platform. There will also be an ICO which will end on June 1st, and any unsold tokens will be sold through the Omni Tether platform with a daily incremental price increase.
Larry Christopher Bates, Bitland’s Chief Security Officer, explained: “To get through the first year of operations, the team has allotted 20 million Cadastrals to be used in an ICO to establish the first operational Bitland Center. The ICO will be hosted by CCEDK, and the funds will be held in escrow on the OpenLedger platform.”
The Bitland Fund will collect network fees and any money taken into the main reserve and redistribute them to projects within the Bitland communities, directly funding infrastructure provision, with oversight from the relevant governments. As the OpenLedger platform is developed further, it will add the capacity for a voting system to be part of the Bitland project – enabling communities to become directly involved in decision-making. In addition to this the infrastructure of the OpenLedger system will grow to include real estate, commercial property investments, and development of third world countries as part of its future plans.
May 20th will also see the launch of the crowdfunding campaign for a new initiative, ICOO. This new asset will allow holders to benefit from future ICOs, by investing in them and making proxy tokens available to trade before they launch. The fund will purchase assets from supported ICOs and create tokens representing these on OpenLedger in the period before the official release of the project. As with other new projects, a proportion of ICOO assets are reserved for OBITS – a catch-all asset representing all current and future initiatives in the CCEDK network.
Ultimately, people will be able to use their mobile devices to register a plot of land with GPS accuracy, file a claim, register a dispute, sell or purchase land. As well as the transparent and immutable nature of the blockchain, OpenLedger allows smart contracts. This removes the need for trust, so that microloans can be issued and government contracts fulfilled on a platform that tracks progress and distributes funds accordingly. After the first phase of the project is complete, the idea is to use Bitland to encourage governments and private organisations to offer smart contracts to give people the chance to invest in development. Organizations such as Kiva already have established methods of issuing microloans, and realise rates of over 90% repayment.