Founding Title Companies Join SafeChain Blockchain Network

April 23, 2019

SafeChain, in partnership with nine independent title agents in Ohio, has launched a blockchain-backed network that enables peer-to-peer transfers of prior title insurance policies to streamline the title search process and drive down costs for member agencies.

The new network allows independent agents to share prior policies, rewarding contributing agents for policies accessed. Agents can set the price of their policies as well as customize which underwriters and agents they want to view in their search results. While member agents will maintain governance of the network upon completion, SafeChain will act as the network operator while the project is being built and will gradually relinquish control over to independent agents over the course of the next few years.

“The future of technology in title is driven by the independent title agent,” said Tony Franco, CEO of SafeChain. “Using world-class software and a new way of thinking about partnerships, we can create a better experience for consumers. It’s not a fierce competition, but working together in the best interest of our customers that will allow the industry to redefine how it operates.”

Created by and for independent agents the goal of the network is to unlock unrealized value that prior policies can provide, according to Franco. With the network, independent agents will be able to protect their intellectual property, search work programmatically and set the price should they choose to share with other partners of the network. The initial agent group is set with the task of establishing governance, fees and network upgrades. Founding members include:

  • Jonathan Holfinger, COO/principal of Northwest Title
  • Scott Stevenson, CEO/principal of Northwest Title
  • Ryan Marrie, president of Ohio Real Title
  • Sean Stoner, president and CEO of Title First
  • Jeff Meyer, owner of Clean Title Agency, Columbia Title Agency, WIN Title Agency and Leadership Title Company
  • Jim Janson, president of Chicago Title of Northeast Ohio
  • Kevin Blum, president of Erie Title
  • Kelley Sauerzopf, co-owner of World Class Title
  • Tim Leehan, partner of Venture Land Title
  • John Dyer, president of Nova Title

“We have taken an active interest in learning about what blockchain technology can provide to the title industry, and this project seems to be the most valuable use case for title agents to date,” Holfinger said. “We are excited to be part of a project that both shares and protects our work product, increases consumers’ access to re-issue credit, and lowers our search costs.”

Marrie added that “In the past technology was driven by the title plants and underwriters.”

“Both of which are traditionally slow to adopt new technologies based on their current market lead,” she continued. “It makes way more sense to have independent agents driving change in the industry, and I am eager to work with our partners in Ohio to improve our technical capabilities.”

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