The Inter-American Development Bank is launching a two-year blockchain project for land registries in three Latin American countries.
The organization, which is investing $600,000 in the project, is working with blockchain startup ChromaWay and Bolivian IT services company Jalasoft on the project in Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay, with plans to eventually test out the technology in other parts of South America.
Phase One will involve figuring out how to connect land registries to the blockchain in a secure way, as well as what technology to use. The end goal is to simplify the process of reestablishing proper land titles in Latin America countries, which can cost $50 million to $100 million per project.
“We need to work with our governments in Latin America to show them the potential of the technology,” said Eirivelthon Santos Lima, the project director of IADB’s environment, rural development and disaster risk management division in La Paz, Bolivia. “The issue is very abstract for them and the best way to teach them about this technology and get them interested is to show them how it works from scratch.”
In other news, one Congressional official believes that China’s central bank will become the first to issue its own national digital currency.
“I think the technology is getting more mature, and it is highly likely that China’s central bank will be the first to issue a national digital currency,” said Huang Qifan, former deputy director of the Congressional Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, at the Shanghai Bund Summit.
As for Facebook’s Libra, Qifan doesn’t have high hopes for the social media giant’s crypto plans.
“I personally don’t believe Libra will succeed,” he said. “Some companies attempt to challenge sovereign currency by issuing bitcoin or Libra. The decentralized blockchain-based currencies are not supported by sovereign credit and hard to become real wealth.”
In other news, Starbucks will be testing accepting bitcoin as payment through a consumer app from bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt, reports said. Bakkt said it will begin testing on its consumer app and merchant portal in the first half of 2020, which will include tests with Starbucks.