Research Article


DOI :10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001   IUP :10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001    Full Text (PDF)

Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry

Numan Tekelioğlu

The use of blockchain technology is constantly expanding. The land registry system is an area where this technology can be applied. Some countries have already implemented the use of blockchain technology for land registries or are developing projects for its use. However, there are concerns about whether blockchain can provide sufficient security, transparency and cost reduction needed for land registry transactions. For developed and developing economies, it is crucial to register immovable properties in land registry and to appropriately reflect on rights related to them. Thus, several states have been devoting significant resources to land registry studies in the past. Turkey is among these states. Further, significant progress has been made in land registry efforts that have been ongoing since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, especially in recent years. Additionally, extensive studies have been conducted to transfer the land registry system to the electronic environment. However, the increasing prevalence of blockchain technology in the world will also affect Turkey. First, the situation in certain countries that use or are considering blockchain-based registries is explained in this study. Further, the compatibility of the blockchain-based land registry and the principles that govern the Turkish land registry system are discussed. Finally, a brief review of the blockchain-based model developed for the Turkish land registry is made.

DOI :10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001   IUP :10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001    Full Text (PDF)

Dijital Tapu Sicili: Blokzinciri Teknolojisinin Tapu Sicilinde Kullanılmasına Dair Karşılaştırmalı Bir İnceleme

Numan Tekelioğlu

Blokzinciri teknolojisinin kullanım alanı sürekli olarak genişlemektedir. Bu teknolojinin uygulanabileceği ileri sürülen alanlardan biri de tapu sicili sistemidir. Tapu sicili, genellikle bir ülkedeki bütün taşınmazların kayıtlı olduğu sicil defteri olarak anlaşılmaktadır. Yakın zamana kadar pek çok ülkede tapu kayıtlarının tutulması bu şekilde gerçekleşmiştir. Ancak kâğıda dayalı tapu sicili sistemi, bilgi ve iletişim teknolojileri aracılığıyla hızlı biçimde dönüşmektedir. Hâlihazırda blokzinciri teknolojisini tapu sicilinde kullanan ya da kullanılması için projeler geliştirmeye çalışan ülkeler bulunmaktadır. Bununla birlikte, blokzincirinin tapu sicili işlemleri bakımından ihtiyaç duyulan güvenlik, şeffaflık ve masrafların azaltılması konularında gerçekten yeterli olup olmadığı noktasında soru işaretleri vardır. Gelişmiş ve gelişmekte olan ekonomiler bakımından taşınmazların tapu siciline kaydedilmesi ve bunlar üzerindeki hakların doğru bir biçimde tapu siciline yansıtılması önem taşımaktadır. Bu nedenle pek çok devlet, geçmişten bu yana tapulama çalışmalarına ciddi bir kaynak aktarmaktadır. Hiç şüphesiz Türkiye de bu devletler içerisinde yer almaktadır. Cumhuriyetin kuruluşundan beri süregelen tapulama çalışmalarında özellikle son yıllarda önemli bir ilerleme kaydedilmiştir. Ayrıca tapu sicili sisteminin elektronik ortama taşınması için de ciddi çalışmalar yapılmıştır. Blokzinciri teknolojisinin dünyada giderek yaygınlaşmasının Türkiye’yi de etkileyeceği kuşkusuzdur. Bu çalışma, blokzinciri teknolojisinin tapu sicilinde uygulanmasına ilişkin karşılaştırmalı bir analiz yapmayı amaçlamaktadır. Bunun için öncelikle blokzinciri tabanlı tapu sicilini kullanan ya da deneyen bazı ülkelerdeki durum izah edilmiştir. Ardından blokzinciri tabanlı tapu sicilinin Türk tapu sicili sistemine hâkim olan ilkelere uygunluğu ele alınmıştır. Özellikle tescilin sebebe bağlılığı ve aleniyet ilkeleri bakımından ortaya çıkabilecek sorunlar ve blokzinciri tabanlı tapu sicilinin kullanılmasının önündeki yasal engeller tartışılmıştır. Son olarak, Türk tapu sicili için geliştirilen blokzinciri tabanlı model hakkında kısa bir inceleme yapılmıştır. 


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


Publicity on movable goods is mostly based on the concept of possession. However, possession cannot provide the same function if an immovable property is at stake. Immovable is a crucial concept for both individuals and states. Thus, various forms of land registry systems have emerged from the past to the present. 

Land registry is understood as a registration book where all the immovable properties are registered. Until recently, land registry records were registered, organized, and maintained by civil servants. This method, which is a paper-based land registry, is about to be revolutionized through information and communication technologies. In several countries today, title deed records of real estate are stored in databases in the digital environment. Recently, there have been examples of countries, both developed and developing, abandoning paper-based land registries, although most of the world’s population still lacks title deeds showing that the land they own is registered. However, the registry of immovable properties is a sign of trust in the government. Thus, the innovation potentialities that have been proven by blockchain technology present novel capabilities.  

The starting point of this technology is the development of a secure payment method without intermediaries. Thus, blockchain is associated with cryptocurrencies. However, this technology has potentialities for both private and public services of which land registry is an example. Blockchain is fundamentally a data recording system. Unlike classical databases, it has a distributed structure rather than a centralized one. The data recorded in the blockchain are stored in blocks and each block has a specific capacity. When data is recorded, it is timestamped and a code is generated using a hash code algorithm. The code of each block is stored in the next block. Thus, it can be understood when the data in a block is changed or corrupt. The transactions conducted in the system are visible to other users, giving the impression that the technology is completely secure.

This study makes a comparative analysis of the application of blockchain technology in land registration. This technology’s data recording system is convenient for its application in land registry. Projects are being developed to apply this technology to transform the land registry system. Georgia, Sweden, the United States, and India, were the four most notable countries examined in this study. Among them, Georgia has officially started using a blockchain-based land registry system, particularly for sales and mortgage transactions. There are some pilot programs in other countries. However, Sweden is determined to employ a blockchain-based land registry. The existence of a protocol between land registry administrations and blockchain companies is common among the countries being studied. In the projects implemented in Sweden and the United States, there are also different partners such as banks, telecommunication companies, or law firms.  

In the second part of this study, we discussed whether the blockchain-based method is suitable for the Turkish land registry system. Turkey has made significant progress in keeping their land registry through electronic means. However, it is sudden to discuss a full transformation to an electronic land registry. However, it would be crucial to inquire if and how a blockchain-based land registry can be implemented, and if possible, what do we need to legislate? First, within the framework of these questions, this study evaluates the results of blockchain technology concerning principles that govern the Turkish land registry system. In addition to the registration’s dependence on the cause, and the principles of publicity, the principles of registration creates the most fundamental problems here. After evaluating these principles, this study explains the basic requirements for using a blockchain-based land registry. Finally, the blockchain model developed for the Turkish land registry was evaluated to understand its potential legal shortcomings. 

The results of this study can be summarized as follows:

1. Existing legislation concerning land registry is insufficient to implement a blockchain-based land registry.

2. If a blockchain must be used, then the feasible solution is a private or hybrid blockchain.

3. In the Turkish legal system, it is impossible to make an electronic contract for immovable properties. Thus, contracts cannot be made through a blockchain-based system.

4. The identification problem must be rectified.

5. The public blockchain model contradicts the principle of relative publicity that dominates Turkish land registry.

6. It may be necessary to reconsider the responsibility of the state in keeping a land registry.

7. It is necessary to study the advantages of blockchain-based land registry. 


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APA

Tekelioğlu, N. (2022). Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry. Istanbul Law Review, 80(1), 1-39. https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001


AMA

Tekelioğlu N. Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry. Istanbul Law Review. 2022;80(1):1-39. https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001


ABNT

Tekelioğlu, N. Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry. Istanbul Law Review, [Publisher Location], v. 80, n. 1, p. 1-39, 2022.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Tekelioğlu, Numan,. 2022. “Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry.” Istanbul Law Review 80, no. 1: 1-39. https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001


Chicago: Humanities Style

Tekelioğlu, Numan,. Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry.” Istanbul Law Review 80, no. 1 (May. 2023): 1-39. https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001


Harvard: Australian Style

Tekelioğlu, N 2022, 'Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry', Istanbul Law Review, vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 1-39, viewed 28 May. 2023, https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Tekelioğlu, N. (2022) ‘Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry’, Istanbul Law Review, 80(1), pp. 1-39. https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001 (28 May. 2023).


MLA

Tekelioğlu, Numan,. Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry.” Istanbul Law Review, vol. 80, no. 1, 2022, pp. 1-39. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001


Vancouver

Tekelioğlu N. Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry. Istanbul Law Review [Internet]. 28 May. 2023 [cited 28 May. 2023];80(1):1-39. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001 doi: 10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001


ISNAD

Tekelioğlu, Numan. Digital Land Registry: A Comparative Review of the Use of Blockchain Technology for Land Registry”. Istanbul Law Review 80/1 (May. 2023): 1-39. https://doi.org/10.26650/mecmua.2022.80.1.0001



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Submitted11.07.2021
Accepted08.02.2022
Published Online15.04.2022

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