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  • The 2017 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research goes to Hernando de Soto

    The 2017 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research goes to Hernando de Soto

    The Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research is the most prominent international award in entrepreneurship research with a price sum of EUR 100,000. De Soto’s analyses have had tremendous influence on policy throughout the world and were a main source of inspiration for the World Bank’s Doing Business program. Read More
  • 2017 Award Winner

    2017 Award Winner

    Hernando de Soto Peru  Institute for Liberty and Democracy For developing a new understanding of the institutions that underpin the informal economy as well as the role of property rights and entrepreneurship in converting the informal economy into the formal sector.   Read More
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Brave New CoinPosted by B Holmes on 19 June 2015

In 2000, revered Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto published The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, a study on the relationship between poverty and property rights. In the book De Soto claims approximately $9 trillion is tied up in land, homes and businesses belonging to people who do not have deeds or titles.

Peter Kirby, CEO and founder of Factom, draws inspiration from De Soto and endeavours to make an impact in the land title arena. “Land Title corruption is a very common problem in the developing world and a immutable ledger solution could help these economies move forward dramatically.”

According to the USAid and Tenure website approximately 80% of privately held land in Honduras is untitled or improperly titled. “Only 14% of Hondurans legally occupy properties and, of the properties held legally, only 30% are registered.”  The ongoing land title disputes in Honduras have lead to violence, environmental abuse, and the displacement of indigenous people.

Although the details of the Honduran project cannot yet be revealed, Kirby explains there are two key contributors to the lack of land title registries in the third world. The first is due to taxes, “if it is an unrecorded property it is much harder to tax,” he said.

The second is a distrust of the officials in control. According to David Johnston, Chairman of the Factom Board, when land registries went digital in Honduras they were held in centralized databases. These entries were easily altered by administrators. “This has been a big problem in the developing world the last decade or so,” said Johnston.

To read the complete article, please visit Brave New Coin


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