Construction & Engineering news #BlockchainAfrica: Blockchain poised to propel construction into new era of efficiency

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The fourth industrial revolution and the paradigm-shifting effect it will have on all industries has been a hot topic for years. While there have certainly been sceptics, some of the digital technologies that have emerged promise to unlock profound efficiencies, transparency and competitiveness.

Huge strides have been made in digitising and transforming the construction industry already, but an uptake in blockchain technology is poised to be a game-changer in the built environment.

Blockchain shot to prominence through Bitcoin, as it is the platform that enables the cryptocurrency. However, innovators have found creative ways to leverage the powerful potential of blockchain in various industries.

At its simplest level, blockchain is a distributed ledger, or database, on multiple computers at the same time. It grows continuously as new blocks are added, and each new block contains a timestamp and link to the previous – hence the second part of the name: chain.

In essence, blockchain can enable a registry and a sequence of smart contracts that are all traceable and almost impossible to manipulate because of the distributed nature of the infrastructure.

Potential paradigm shift

In the construction context, it could well represent a paradigm shift by unlocking immense efficiency in aspects such as contract processing and payments, as well as supply chain management.

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