What the Construction Industry Can Learn From BITCOIN
The recent surge in popularity for digital currencies can all be traced back to the innovative advancements made within the field of “Blockchain” technology. A “Blockchain” is a secure, decentralized register of transactions that gives multiple parties the ability to conduct transfers of money, or files of schematic drawings or any other business needs without the reliance on a bank or other regulatory intermediary to oversee the transfers. Given the fact that the construction industry is rife with different intermediaries and data pertaining to construction specifications, the ability to transfer information seamlessly through a blockchain is extremely applicable.
Blockchain technology, given its roots in online crypto-currencies, has been given a bad reputation as being something to be associated with deviant and criminal online purchases. It is important to recognize that the technology is not limited to this particular application and that its unwarranted, bad reputation should not continue to hold back construction companies from adopting the technology within the industry. Blockchain technology can improve the transparency in transfers of business information between construction companies, and streamline the process. A blockchain creates very powerful standards in a simple to adopt way that does not interfere with the current process, but rather just expedites it. Furthermore, the blockchain itself, which is effectively a ledger of all transactions that have taken place between parties to the chain, is extremely secure. It is protected from unauthorized access or transfers by extensive verification checks and protects the information stored on the blockchain through encryption. It is without contention that there are serious promise and value in the advancement of blockchain technology, especially within the construction industry. An industry-wide accessible database that provides transparency and integrity would effectively serve to bring parties closer together and more collaborative in a very litigious and risky environment.