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Will home purchases via blockhain be the future for investment?

Home purchase via blockchain has moved one step closer thanks to the launch of NatWest and Coadjute’s mobile project.

A network for decentralised workflow and data sharing within the property industry, Coadjute have agreed upon a project to develop new mortgage and homebuying technology with a consortium of leading property software providers and banks including NatWest.

The main goal of the technology is to speed up and simplify the entire homebuying process – something which all parts of the industry have been attempting to improve of late - and make it available via NatWest’s mobile banking app.

In order to make this possible, a consortium has been created with the leading software providers from each stage of the homebuying process. This includes Dezrez Estate Agency Software, Redbrick Solutions Conveyancing Software, eTech Surveyor Software, Search Acumen Property Data, Conveyancing Data Services Property Data, and LMS Panel Management Software.

NatWest and Coadjute will work together to produce a new end-to-end homebuying journey by connecting each leading software provider’s platform and building a decentralised homebuying network.

By using blockchain – also known as distributed ledger technology – they argue the information required in processes such as securing a mortgage and finalising an offer to purchase ‘will be seamlessly shared between each party’. Consequently, the whole homebuying process should be much faster and more efficient.

The ultimate aim of the project is to provide NatWest customers with complete transparency over the entire homebuying process via their app, helping consumers to feel more in control and confident throughout.

Previously, Coadjute’s technology was used in a ground-breaking trial involving the test sale of a home using blockchain, which involved 40 global organisations including RBS and Clifford Chance. It was one of the first sales of its kind and ‘showcased how the entire conveyancing process could be reduced to three weeks’. 

Dan Salmons, director for mortgage innovation at RBS, which NatWest is part of, said the banking group was committed to using the latest innovations to build new solutions for customers that improve their lives.

“The homebuying process is an area ripe for improvement - however, real change can only be brought to bear if we bring all the parties involved together,” he said. “This is why this project and consortium is such a crucial step and if it is successful it will be a game-changer for our customers and the entire property market.”

John Reynolds, chief executive and founder of Coadjute, added that customer adoption will be driven by businesses coming together to offer a joined-up service.

“Even at this stage, we have connected up 12% of the mortgages market, 1,000 estate agency brands, 4,000 conveyancers, and 80% of all property valuation instructions,” he explained. “With a pipeline of leading platform providers signed up and ready to onboard, we will have a significant percentage of the property industry on the platform when it goes live.”

He added: “We envisage a time when Coadjute-enabled businesses will be the go-to choice for all customers to get a mortgage and move home in one simple, fast and secure digital journey.”

The project is working towards launching its Minimum Viable Product in 2020, with Coadjute’s proposition further strengthened by the team’s work with HM Land Registry’s Digital Street project, where they beat a number of large corporations to win a major R&D project to use distributed ledger technology to explore connecting a central land registry with businesses.

Coadjute’s trial was built on Corda Network and hosted on Microsoft Azure in what is known as a R3 CorDapp Trial.

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