Dossiers are quick and easily digestible recaps of what a company or project is all about – how it came to be, the people involved, and some of our thoughts on it.
BenBen is a digital land transaction service from Ghana, which is to say, property rights on the blockchain. It is a private company.
Founded In 2014 by Emmanuel Noah (CEO) and Daniel Block (ex-COO).
- Emmanuel Noah
- Daniel Bloch
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/blochchainLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-bloch-46753011b/Operated Blockchain-focused educational programs at universitiesLeft BenBen in July 2017
BenBen provides an Ethereum-run digital register system of all land registries across Ghana. It is able to certify land information through the cross-cutting of satellite imagery and on-the-ground verifications, working hand-in-hand with local stakeholders in the land market. It aggregates all the information such that financial institutions and the Lands Commission have real-time access to the data. Property transaction times have been reduced by 75% and court disputes have been reduced. (source)
How it works
“BenBen is a web and mobile application that allows users to manage their land records and perform land transactions. Users can access BenBen’s interactive maps to search land information before buying or selling. Furthermore, users can interact with financial institutions by applying for loans through the platform to get access to funding, which is a process that currently takes up to two years. With BenBen it takes two weeks!” (source)
“We actively survey these land parcels using […] technologies such as satellite and drone imagery to ensure accuracy of the data.” (source)
- In June 2016, received a letter of intent from the Ghanian Lands Commission to develop a national land information system and property payments platform (source)
- Participated in Barclays Rise Accelerator Programme (source)
Our thoughts about BenBen
While there is no detailed information available on the inner workings of BenBen, what’s out there is interesting: BenBen is one of the (few) companies that has a founder with significant knowledge of the context they operate in, and doesn’t wave away as irrelevant existing processes and records.
The interest to expand to a number of different areas of property ownership outlined in the BenBen explainer video (source) raises some doubts on feasibility, since creating a system that works with and within a national bureaucracy in one area is enough of a challenge even for much larger companies than BenBen, which currently employs 4 people (source), let alone tackling the same across a number of different nations.
Having said that, while success on radically improving property management in an entire country is far from guaranteed, BenBen’s progress is interesting to follow as an example of using blockchain-based systems for iterative improvement of existing processes.
-  BenBen website
-  Youth Solutions Report page 41
-  Meet BenBen: The Startup Transforming Property Ownership in Africa with Blockchain Technology
-  New OPSI guide to blockchain in the public sector
-  GameChangers: BenBen
-  BenBen on the Global Innovation Exchange page
-  BenBen on the Solutions Summit page