Chain Matrix 2

By Nick Holmes on February 20, 2009
Comments Off on Chain Matrix 2
Filed under eConveyancing

Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. During this, Neo must decide how he can save Trinity from a dark fate in his dreams. – The Matrix Reloaded [aka 2]

Back in the real world Land Registry is offering to support developers and commercial enterprises that want to develop Chain Matrix and EFT type services.

Per Michael Cross:

the move reflects the government’s “Power of Information” agenda, which encourages public bodies to make their core information freely available to developers of “value-added” information services, rather than trying to do everything themselves.

Peter Collis, chief land registrar and chief executive of Land Registry, defended the original move to develop the system: “Land Registry’s decision to launch Chain Matrix was taken at a time when no private investor was prepared to be the first to establish such a wide-ranging cross-industries initiative.” By “seeding the market with the prototype” and “developing good examples of technical functionality”, the registry had paved the way for the private sector, Collis said.

But rather than looking on it as “such a wide-ranging cross-industries initiative” (for which read “expensive, complex system”), would it be fanciful of me to suggest one could knock up a cheap, lightweight, scalable Web 2.0 app that crowd-sourced the data? You might think this was an absolute non-starter given that the (£4.6m) pilot was shelved last April due to test user apathy and privacy concerns.

Per Michael Cross again:

Conveyancers were reluctant to try it out, partly because there own case management systems did not plug in: there was no time to build the planned XML-coded interfaces to the software. The trial also found no evidence that people would pay to use the service, undermining the business case.

Privacy may also have been a worry: “Many citizens were either not aware or not convinced of the benefits of Chain Matrix and many prevented their conveyancer from entering their transactions onto Chain Matrix,” the evaluation says. In the event, only 200 out of 1,467 clients who signed up to view the matrix did so.

But I’m wondering what result you’d achieve if, instead of asking 1,467 conveyancing stakeholders (who then asked their clients) to participate in a complex pilot, you went viral with a dead simple app, reaching 700,000 or more house sellers directly? Might pigs fly?

I have a spec on the back of an envelope if anyone’s interested.