As we talk about blockchain and how it is revolutionizing the way we look at our world, the BuildCoin Foundation is pioneering efforts to create an ecosystem for bettering the world by improving the prospects of global infrastructure projects through blockchain technology.
“The mission of the foundation is to create a global blockchain ecosystem for public infrastructure and construction projects. We are creating an ecosystem which brings investors, lenders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, and architects together. The ecosystem collectively can help run large-scale public infrastructure projects in a way that it provides value to individual participants,” says David Stout, vice president of operations at OpCentre Inc.
The ecosystem that the foundation envisions has different components that provide value to specific participants. Across the world, infrastructure projects are predominantly funded and built by government entities, with many such projects prolonging completion due to lack of transparency and accountability, thereby increasing costs over the estimated budget. In that stead, the foundation looks to create a crowdfunding initiative to develop a greater public-private partnership which could foster large-scale infrastructure projects and raise them quickly off the ground.
“There are billions of dollars worth of infrastructural projects across the world that need to be built, but aren’t getting done due to excessive bureaucracy and lack of public funding,” explains Stout. “Our goal is to expedite that process. From the initiation perspective, we are creating a crowdfunding platform where apart from the money that comes from government entities, a part of it could come from private investors.”
One of the major challenges with regard to infrastructure projects is raising money to do feasibility studies on the site. This is critical to the project as it helps determine the economic viability, environmental impact, timeline of the project, and operational requirements. “A lot of times, it is hard to get the feasibility studies funded because they can take a significant amount of time and also there’s no guarantee with the feasibility studies that the project is initiated,” notes Stout. The foundation is filling that gap by helping fund specific strategic infrastructure projects, in part by the money it has. At present, it has funded the feasibility studies of a project in Sao Paulo.
“Another component of the ecosystem is the ability to use blockchain for faster payments, and streamlining it between developers and contractors, from the schedule of values they maintain to the payment application submission,” adds Stout. “The key components of the payment cycle will be done through smart contracts, and the approval processes will be stored on the blockchain.”
The foundation plans to utilize its BuildCoin token along with the smart contracts and workflow processes to expedite the payment for all the players within the ecosystem. Apart from this, the foundation would capture information of performance in large-scale infrastructure projects, record their timelines and their capacity to toe the budget, meet regulations, and also keep a lookout for other issues that stagnate projects. This information would eventually be made available to investors and people who are looking to fund future projects by specific developers.
This would help drive more project investments and funding, believes Stout. “It will be easier for investors because they would have more insights, information, and historical data to base their future investment decisions on.”
That being said, the foundation is not stopping with infrastructural projects but is also looking at transportation as well, having been in talks with Hyperloop, about what the mission of the BuildCoin Foundation is about and how it could suit the former’s interest. The foundation is on the lookout for people to contribute to feasibility studies through new innovative ways of looking at infrastructure and have a dramatic shift in how such projects are seen by the community today.
“Our goal is to make people think this is a great platform to run and manage large-scale infrastructure projects on,” concludes Stout. “And our job at the foundation isn’t about holding anyone accountable. We are creating a platform which in itself holds the different players accountable and ensures transparency.” The beauty of blockchain is that it is an immutable record that stores and records information. The blockchain in itself becomes the holder and also the approver, while people who participate in the ecosystem become the key to the system’s success.
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