Cryptocurrency / Economics

Could cadastral blockchains be the answer to Pa.’s economic woes?

Delaware technologist David Nevins has an idea for his neighboring state. He's calling it CadastralPA.

A visualization of bitcoin transfers. (Photo by Flickr user Ars Electronica, used under a Creative Commons license)

This story is part of Grow PA, a reported series on economic development across 10 Pennsylvania counties supported by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Sign up for our weekly curated email here.

A Wilmington, Del., technologist wants to use blockchain, the encrypted public ledger best known as the technology behind cryptocurrencies, to improve the way business gets done in Pennsylvania.

David Nevins, CEO of blockchain startup ZoomCube, has been working with Wilmington-based firm Alpha Technologies to develop a cadastral map of “all the blockchains” that would allow users to see data in real time and, in his own words, “have a way of accounting various ledgers all in a single glance.”

“Cadastres” are real estate maps used to organize parcel-based real estate in Europe. European nations, such as Sweden, have experimented with using cadastral blockchains to map real estate transactions, with the idea being that putting real estate on blockchain simplifies objectively complicated land registry issues such as clearing and settlement.

Nevins wants to take that idea of mapping transactional data in real time and apply it to complicated economic systems such as supply chains. He’s calling it CadastralPA.

“There’s a trace created from moment to moment, map to map,” said Nevins. “It’s an infinite stack of maps following that trace. You’d have the same thing with supply chain.”

Using a cadastral map, a supply chain manager might be able to better mitigate warehousing risks by visualizing the ways in which live inventory and freight data interact.

“You can see them all tracking through time — where they were, where they’re supposed to be,” he said. “For warehousing, you can see the shipping arrangements, where the material is stored, what trucks or transport vehicles are due to pick them up, where they’re due to be delivered, where they are in transit — and see that all laid out to the naked eye.”

That’s just one of many uses Nevins sees for the cadastral blockchain. His firm is also working with University of Delaware Director of Vertically Integrated Projects Andy Novocin to use a localized cryptocurrency to finance the purchase, renovation and renting of depressed properties, increasing the value of the cryptocurrency and property simultaneously.

The project, said Nevins, is in the earliest stages of development, but is on course to completion within the next year.

“I’d love to see Pennsylvania and Delaware jump on as some of the first folks to join the cadastral blockchain,” said Nevins. “It’s an experiment, no two ways about it. But if it works, all these people building blockchains based on functions or utilities … are building real value.”


Series: Grow PA

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