A few weeks ago, Banque Populaire (BCP) for the first time, backed by the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) and Maroclear, issued bonds on the blockchain as part of a fund raising fund of 100 million dirhams. A precedent in Morocco seems to be announcing others to come.
But first of all, not out of keen interest in digital technologies, it is legitimate to ask the following question: what is a blockchain and what is its purpose?
We will try to answer them as clearly and concisely as possible. Those who want more details, especially on the technical side, can refer to hundreds of explainer videos on the network.
The blockchain is above all a decentralized, encrypted, non-intermediate database.
In addition to being public and publicly available, it maintains a tracking or some type of fingerprint for all the transactions made. However, the people behind these transactions remain anonymous.
This fully computerized system makes it possible to circumvent the need for a trusted third party (bank, notary, etc.) to conduct a transaction (purchase, sale, transfer of value, etc.).
Thus, you can send an amount of 1000 dirhams to someone without going through the bank and the costs involved, or buy or sell a property without going through a notary. Being human, a notary is corruptible, and blockchain is not.
This database consists of blocks containing several hundred indelibly recorded transactions that are added to other blocks, thus forming a chain of blocks, or blockchain.
The computing power needed for the blockchain is provided to the network by individuals and businesses through powerful computers. They are called “miners”.
For the queen of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is simply the original monetary protocol that uses the blockchain system.
But beyond the private sector, which is often at the forefront of new technologies, can the state make good use of this technology in the service of citizens?
The answer is yes. One of the application sectors that may be in dire need is the land sector. Because the mafia in the literal sense, that is, the robbery of real estate, is propagated in a embodied way in different layers (administration, justice, notaries, elected local officials, etc.).
We all remember the letter that His Majesty the King sent in 2016 to the Minister of Justice at that time, Mustafa Ramid, in which he called on the authorities to take the necessary measures to put an end to this scourge, which is property theft.
Since then, many things have been officially done: the interministerial commission, discussions on reforming legal texts, etc.
But on the ground, the citizens who are victims of these misdeeds, including many Moroccans living abroad who are easy prey, continue to suffer silently. Complaints are piling up, and impunity still has a bright future ahead.
Moreover, it seems to me it is useful to recall that Article 2 of Law 39/8 constitutes the best ally of this mafia. This limits the admissibility of a complaint if your property is stolen to four years. Thus, if, with your misfortune, you think that your possessions acquired by the sweat of your brow are forever, then you are seriously mistaken.
The right to property, considered sacred in a market economy, is becoming a constant concern, as citizens have to systematically check every four years if their home is still theirs, paying 100 dirhams each time to find out. Many victims, even realizing these four years prior that their property had been stolen, still find it difficult to assert and restore their rights.
But what is the blockchain in all of this?
Well, it might solve the problem from the root. Because these crimes cannot exist without the failure of the trusted third party. Because you necessarily need notaries, civil servants, judges, clerks and corrupt local elected officials, who can then do everything to prevent or sabotage a possible investigation.
The process of using blockchain technology for real estate assets, in this case real estate, is called a “token.”
This makes it possible to transfer ownership of a real good on the blockchain, keeping all the various transactions related to it incorruptible.
The property can for example be encoded in a non-fragmented way, that is, the token expresses the ownership of the entire property, as it can be divided into several tokens, resulting in collective ownership. This last possibility could be very interesting for the real estate sector as it increases the liquidity in this market, especially for the development of projects with rental yield.
For example, if the apartment costs 1 million dirhams and its property is converted into 100 shares, i.e. tokens worth 10,000 dirhams, I can, with only 20,000 dirhams, become a shareholder in this property by buying two tokens. Then, the real estate agency that will manage this property will pay the corresponding equity to each token owner at the end of each month, after subtracting the costs of managing and maintaining the property.
To put it more simply, coding makes it possible to turn any real good into a company with many shareholders, by saving on the unlimited and costly documentation and procedures that are currently prevalent.
But the most important thing here is that thanks to the blockchain technology, your real estate is permanently protected. Because all network members have proof that your property belongs to you.
From this point of view, this technology, which is already in the embryo in the United States, takes the form of an incorruptible, decentralized, or intermediary real estate registry or registry. What took the aforementioned mafia out of service.
But then there is the issue of taxes. Since the blockchain, as mentioned earlier, actually keeps track of all the executed transactions, but keeps the identity of the network members confidential. Therefore, the state will not be able to know who sold to whom, and who owes what to the treasury.
The solution is the need for new legislation, which could enforce the fact that coding of divisible or indivisible real estate must be done digitally, through state-provided digital platforms, so that we can collect all information on acquirers. of the symbols, the value and nature of the transaction. But with the guarantee of the blockchain system, no official will be able to corrupt this record.
In conclusion, we will say that while you wait to be able to bet on the goodness of human nature to fight corruption, technology is there to fill your moral bankruptcy.