The Notaries of Europe, an association of more than 40,000 notaries in 22 member states,  discussed the potential use of Blockchain (”Bc”) during a three-day conference – The 4th Notaries of Europe Congress – which was held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on October 5, 6 and 7, 2017.

The theme of the 4th Notaries of Europe Congress was “EU Law at the Service of Citizens”. The overriding goal was to analyze civil and commercial law and make legislative proposals to the European institutions. With the prospect of Brexit and the rise of Eurosceptic political parties in the Member States, 2017-18 will be decisive years for the European Union. However, an irreversible process has been set in motion: European integration will not stop. European citizens will continue to live, work, buy property and start businesses in Member States other than that of their nationality. The notaries of Europe must be present to build and continue to build the new Europe serving the private interests of citizens and businesses.

The Congress working sessions focussed on two highly topical subjects; (1) consumer law and the notaries’ role in developing digital solutions, (2) company law and the transfer of company headquarters in the European Union.

In the digital world, notaries and legal practitioners, in general, are today facing an increasing number of challenges, which also represent opportunities: the provision of digital services, digital inheritance, blockchains, bitcoins, etc. Notaries must adapt to their clients’ new consumer methods and propose innovative solutions while making sure they guarantee the very essence of their function – providing legal certainty.

Of the many topics to be covered in the conference is one intrinsic discussion point; exploring the idea of setting up a “private Blockchain network” for the European notaries.

Besides this, several issues related to Bc were addressed at this conference including a list of perceived challenges or concerns when it comes to the use of Bc technologies adopted in the land registry ecosphere; such as network integrity, the anonymity in the system which may favor fraudulent activity and the need for additional document storage which Bc currently doesn’t allow.

Envision

It could be that any protocols or potential Blockchain adoptions resulting from this conference will end up being a paradigm for other jurisdictions and countries to examine and possibly follow – especially developing countries.

Any resulting suggestions, embracements or endorsements of Bc use coming from this conference – without a doubt – will influence the future development and build-out of Blockchain platforms and the features they will eventually provide to notaries and land registry offices around the world.

I will be reporting on the discussions and outcomes from The 4th Notaries of Europe Congress in later posts. Stay tuned. – JDM

In the meantime, click the image below for the link to The 4th Notaries Congress’ agenda including topics and speakers (available in English, French and Spanish):

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* Envision (definition) – imagining a future possibility for the better.

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John Dean Markunas is a Blockchain advisor and consultant with a focus on the real estate industry.  John is the Leader of GBA’s Leader Land Titling Group which is exploring blockchain technologies to address land titling and insurance use cases around the world.  The group studies solutions deployed in other countries to identify opportunities to implement solutions globally.

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