Linking local housing and global finance: the state, land administration infrastructure and blockchain

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Blockchain is an alternative data management technique that can transform information infrastructures supporting real estate and housing finance around the world. Empirically investigating the case of Sweden – where a government agency has pioneered the use of blockchain to orchestrate the conveyance and mortgaging of residential real estate - this paper ‘unblack-boxes’ the existing supply chain of Swedish housing transactions, and sheds light on the direction and the scope of the resulting change. I begin by situating this initiative in a much longer trajectory of state-led attempts to fix Swedish housing finance and rein in excessive risk to which housing cooperatives and households are exposed. In light of this history, I argue that blockchain’s primary novelty lies in the way it re-makes existing exclusionary transactional spaces by unbundling overlaid patchworks of networks (Graham & Marvin, 2001), which link local housing and global finance. I conclude that these developments shape a new set of contradictions and conflicts between the established economic organization and value chains on the one hand, and the governance arrangements of mature housing and mortgage markets, on the other. This empirical investigation re-centres the role of the state and a critical but overlooked land administration infrastructure in materialising the connection between land, the urban fabric and global finance, and contends that the state-led initiatives to upgrade these infrastructures with radical technologies (Greenfield, 2018) comprise a crucial terrain of struggle over the control of the data flows generated by them.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2022
Event2022 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting - USA, New York
Duration: 25 Feb 20221 Mar 2022


Conference2022 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
CityNew York
Internet address

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