Autodesk boss makes the case for blockchain in construction sector

"A technology like (blockchain) in an environment like construction, where various people involved in the process don't trust eachother, is going to find some kind of application"

Blockchain technologies can help stem corruption in the construction space and reduce the lack of trust between industry players, according to the CEO of design software giant Autodesk.

Financial Review reports that, during a roundtable discussion with journalists at the 2018 Autodesk University event in Las Vegas, Andrew Anagnost commented:  “What is blockchain good at? It’s a distributed, trusted ledger that cannot be altered and allows traceability and accountability. A technology like that in an environment like construction where various people involved in the process don’t trust eachother is going to find some kind of application.”

Autodesk has been working on its own non-blockchain systems in an attempt to tackle this issue. “Let’s face it, corruption in the construction industry is not uncommon,” said Anagnost. “When people are paying hundreds of millions of dollars on large projects, something is always happening somewhere that isn’t quite right. There’s always someone bleeding off resources or money in some inappropriate way.”

One of the biggest roadblocks here is the people who don’t want to be tracked. “They don’t actually want a clear record of who did what, when and how. It’s going to take a lot of us enforcing this and making it not optional to trace who did what and when.”

“I’ve been on construction sites and I’ve been with quality checkers,” he added. “They’re taking pictures and I notice sometimes they log the issue and sometimes they don’t. So I ask them – why didn’t you log that one? ‘Oh, because I know that guy, I’ll go tell him about it.’ So the subcontractor he knows doesn’t get their issues logged, but the subcontractor he doesn’t know gets logged.”

“This happens all the time and it makes it very difficult to track who is responsible for what, so one of the big technological problems we’re going to have to solve is making sure it is not optional to provide traceability and accountability,” Anagnost concluded.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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