Traditionally, blockchain technology has been used to underpin the transactions of leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, its concept of distributing the management of work by democratising record-keeping and ensuring transparency and accountability is beginning to see it utilised in many other sectors. With no middlemen or other intermediaries, a blockchain is 100% decentralised, making it virtually impossible to abuse.
It’s no secret that many leaders in the construction industry have already acknowledged blockchain’s potential to aid project and supply chain management, as well as financial transactions. Now, there is one particular project that’s endeavouring to futureproof the sector. BOPTI is the inaugural blockchain-based application focused solely on the global construction industry. Established six years ago when cryptocurrencies began to enter the mainstream psyche, BOPTI developed a unique suite of productivity software, known as BATOPTI, focused on leveraging blockchain technology to build and harness a worldwide community of construction professionals.
As of 2015, BOPTI boasted some 35,000 users already across five continents. By 2018, that figure has since grown to more than 100,000, with 2019 expected to be BOPTI’s breakthrough year, forecasting one million users by December 2019. Sebastien Horemans, CEO, BOPTI, claims that the BOPTI cryptocurrency token and its free global management application for construction SMES (BATOPTI) is “the missing link in the world construction industry”. The BOPTI crypto token is bidding to become the world’s first unique currency to facilitate transactions between construction SMEs on the BATOPTI platform.
Smart contracts that operate on blockchain platforms could also be a major boon to the construction sector in the years to come. These self-executing contracts, that complete based on all terms within the contract being met by both buyer and seller, could greatly enhance efficiencies. These could play an integral role in the future of BIM, working alongside blockchain technology to record project data and produce outcomes based on their parameters.
For example, live data from the site of a new project could be fed into a smart contract and the BIM network via on-site sensors, providing an up-to-the-minute update on project progress. This data could also be used by construction firms to ascertain the cost of the work completed thus far and release payments once set landmarks have been hit within the relevant smart contract, with no third-parties or middlemen required ever again. Smart contracts can also be programmed to be multi-party agreements. For instance, if Party C pays Party A, Party B may be duty bound to pay Party A the same amount also, making project bank accounts unnecessary overnight.
There is no doubt that BOPTI’s ambition of an exclusive cryptocurrency for the construction industry has legs. It has been recently backed by one of Europe’s leading insurance firms, who have become one of the platform’s major shareholders. The time is right for the global construction industry to break free from physical barriers and move into the 21st century with confidence, utilising blockchain technology to improve day-to-day efficiencies and improving the transparency and integrity of the industry simultaneously.