Publication Date

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Thomas Austin

Second Advisor

Robert Chun

Third Advisor

Ching-seh (Mike) Wu


decentralized title transfer, block chain, smart contracts


The commercial real estate market is a significant part of the global economy, currently dominated by a small set of firms and organizations that lack transparency. The process of property transfers also requires third party intervention which is expensive. In many countries, the process of title transfers is problematic. We are still in the initial steps of digitization, due to the improvement required in terms of use of technology to represent assets in digital forms. Increase in liquidity of investments and purchases, proper management, documentation as well as ease of access is the future of real estate. Blockchain technologies have the potential to drive these changes as explained in Chapter 1.

Blockchain technologies like Ethereum[1] include asset tokenization, and act as immutable and decentralized transaction ledgers. Tokens on the ledger can represent the real estate assets. Particulary, the non-fungible tokens on Ethereum can serve as a representation of transfer of resources. Ethereum grants trusted and distributed smart contracts for token operations. My project is a system for real estate cadastral record keeping and title transfers that uses the ERC-721 specification[2] related to the non-fungible tokens.

Testing of the implementation is done using Government records from District of Columbia[3]. Ethereum is a natural choice for this project due to its evolution, an active development community, and many supporting languages and tools that facilitate use of smart contracts. This paper gives the background, implementation details and significance of such a system. Some cost-related and defensive mechanisms offered by the system are discussed later in the report.