Tech Transformers

Property firm behind one of London’s most iconic sites says blockchain will 'absolutely' have a role

Key Points
  • Landsec said blockchain technology will "absolutely" have a function in its business
  • Blockchain or distributed ledger technology could play a role in the contract process
Welcome blockchain's potential to speed up legal processes: Landsec CEO

Blockchain technology will "absolutely" have a function in Landsec's business, the CEO of the U.K.'s largest property firm told CNBC on Tuesday.

Landsec is the developer behind some Britain's biggest shopping malls and most iconic sites. For example, it owns the electronic advertising billboards in London's Piccadilly Circus.

The FTSE 100-listed firm deals with a lot of contracts from leasing properties to hiring contractors.

When asked if blockchain technology would be used in this part of the business, Chief Executive Robert Noel replied in the affirmative.

"Absolutely... If you look at the way what we provide, which is services to business, and those services are around contract, anything that speeds up archaic land law, and contract law, and leasing law, etcetera, will be welcomed," Noel told CNBC in a TV interview.

"And so I'm absolutely sure that there will be progress in that sphere."

Blockchain is the underlying technology behind the cryptocurrency bitcoin. But the theory behind it can be applied to numerous industries. Blockchain is also called distributed ledger technology and refers to a method of decentralizing processes.

What is Blockchain?

In the case of a company like Landsec, the technology could be used to speed up the process of signing contracts. Currently, there is a lot of paperwork and legal back and forth involved in the process. Each party would have their own copy of an agreement that could mean mistakes creep in. Using blockchain technology could mean that contracts are automatically executed when each party fulfills their part. The contract would be recorded on a ledger that is tamperproof.

The benefits of blockchain technology include speeding up processes and making them more efficient and cheaper, according to experts. One effect could be to reduce the money spent on lawyers.

When asked by CNBC if Landsec would be able to ax some of its lawyers as a result, Noel said: "I wouldn't go quite that far."