FAQ

What is Blockchain?

What is a Smart Contract?

Why is Blockchain Useful for the Engineering Profession?

When is a blockchain useful and when is it not useful? 

What would be the impact of engineering professionals coming together?

What is the IEBC?

Why was IEBC Founded?

What are the goals of the IEBC?

Who or what industries/skills reside within the consortium?

What industries does Blockchain Technology currently impact?

What does the use of Blockchain mean for the future of engineering?

What are current examples of an engineering application for Blockchain today?

Who are the beneficiaries of engineering industry adoption?

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What is Blockchain?

A Blockchain is computer software that manages all aspects a database that is shared among many people. The software controls who has access to what parts of the database and can execute on contracts (scripted in software) including issuing payments and authorizing transactions. The software uses several techniques such as cryptography and tokenization to arbitrate human interactions with the software and each other. A Blockchain earns it’s name from a computing technique that assures that the database can only move forward in time and cannot move backwards in time – this time-stamping thwarts any effort by bad actors to infiltrate the database and, say, alter any prior transaction undetected. The technique is mathematically provable, extremely difficult to corrupt but very easy to audit. The resultant database is called a decentralized ledger and is not controlled by any one party; rather, it exists as a consensus of all parties. Everything is controlled by independent software. This is a point of contention in corporations, governments, and even entrepreneurs that are accustomed to controlling assets and property. Any effort to enforce control over a Blockchain eliminates most of the reasons for having one in the first place. These features make Blockchain technology a fundamentally new way to manage information.  

 

What is a Smart Contract?

A smart contract is a self-executing digital contract that uses Blockchain technology to document and verify the contract’s execution. The way a smart contract typically works is as follows:

(1) Computer code is written that performs a specific function.

(2) This code is placed into production via placement on a distributed network.

(3) Party one enters into the contract by sending tokens to an address controlled by the computer code.

(4) Additional parties enter into the contract by the same mechanism.

(5) The computer code takes the tokens and performs some function with them, potentially re-redistributing them to the parties in steps (3) and (4).

 

Why is Blockchain Useful for the Engineering Profession?

  • Engineers need to establish a permanent indelible record of fact.
  • Engineer need to separate responsibility between theirselves and others.
  • Future interaction with an asset must often refer back to a past engineering decisions.
  • Forensic investigations require a comprehensive record of fact.
  • Complex projects require complex coordination among professionals
  • Critical path analysis requires indelible time stamp and verification protocol
  • Engineers seek to secure intellectual property
  • Engineers need to establish a record of qualification that can be audited and transportable to other jurisdictions, including international.  

 

When is a Blockchain needed and when is it not needed?

Blockchain technology is most effective under the following conditions

  1. A Shared Databases are required,
  2. Multiple writers will interact with the database
  3. There is an absence of trust (separation of responsibility) between users
  4. No centralized authority is needed or desired
  5. Blockchain truly shines where transactions created by different writers depend on one other (transaction Interaction).
  6. Where consistent rules exist and can be established.
  7. Where a validation system is available (engineers)
  8. Where assets can be converted to a financial form.

Many industries such as finance and insurance are struggling to adopt Blockchain technology because their existing business models or legal structures do not necessarily fit nicely within the Blockchain toolset. On the other hand, engineering fits quite perfectly within these constraints.

  1. Engineers operate from a set of highly consistent and verifiable natural laws,
  2. Any engineer can write data to a data set that they are qualified to interact with.
  3. There is a requirement among engineers to separate responsibility between them in order to account for, isolate, or mitigate risk of non-qualified actors.
  4. The community of engineers needs to act and assess independently of market driven employers
  5. Critical path of decisions is the hallmark of engineering planning and execution,
  6. Engineers rely on consistent and proven codes and standards where applicable,
  7. Only an engineer can validate another engineer, as such, a social validation dynamic is available at each and every transaction,
  8. Engineering infrastructure is the foundation of a modern economy, as such; convertibility to other money forms would be simple and meaningful.

 

What would be the impact of engineering professionals coming together?

  • We believe that the impact of engineering professions coming together would include a more efficient allocation of engineering.
  • Engineers need a credentialing system that provides them with the mobility to serve in many different industries without negative career consequence.
  • Engineers need to be able to find each other in order to share ideas, best practices, mentorships, and years of experience.
  • Markets need to find the right engineers at the right time regardless of employer in order to solve complex problems from disaster relief to widespread public health problems.
  • Engineers need to be compensated commensurate with the value that they provide in society. Compensation schemes should include royalty based fee structures that assure lifelong residual income for solving unique problems.
  • Engineers should not be forced to compete with each other.
  • Engineers should collaborate, iterate, and educate.

 

What is the IEBC?

IEBC stands for Integrated Engineering Blockchain Consortium. The IEBC was founded on the observation that primary and secondary (etc.) engineering disciplines are critically segmented and siloed by laws, jurisdictions, and markets that have little to do with the nature of problems that needs to be solved.    

The IEBC seeks to bring the engineering professions together under a decentralized ledger protocol that allows engineers of every discipline across the world to speak and work directly to each other as adjudicators of Earth’s natural resources and proponents of the safety health and welfare of society.

As such, a crypto-currency backed by the creativity and intellect of multidisciplinary engineers would store value in physical infrastructure that engineers create.

 

Why was IEBC Founded?

Few people realize that a Capitalist economy is like a 3-legged stool comprised of banking, insurance, and infrastructure. If you lose one of these legs, you lose the other two. While great strides are being made in Banking and Insurance, Engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries have not even started assessing the impacts. This is both a great problem and a great opportunity. Anything that impacts Banking and Insurance will also impact engineering, and the profession is woefully off-guard. However, engineering and construction may be a far better case study for Blockchain than even banking and finance due to its intrinsic nature and the actual fulfillment of real contracts between real actors performing real proof-of-work toward a common outcome.   The IEBC was founded for the purpose of drawing attention to the applications in engineering and then developing the first foundational Blockchain application specific to the engineering profession

 

What are the goals of the IEBC?

In short, the goals of the IEBC are to create a global decentralized certification and matching system for engineers of every discipline. Nothing is purely mechanical engineering, or civil engineering, or electrical engineering. Software has little meaning without something physical to compute. Rather, real problems in the real world require interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration. The goal of the IEBC is to provide the platform upon which engineering may be allocated correctly.  

 

Who or what industries/skills reside within the consortium?

Currently, we have within our professional network engineers, legal scholars, executive talent, actuaries, and financial systems experts who all understand the vital importance of securing the engineering profession. Initially we will concentrate on licensed professional engineers from countries that have professional engineering codified in law. These traditionally include Civil, Mechanical, electrical engineering and Architects. Using tools that we developed, we intend to quickly expand the definition of engineering professions to include non-licensed disciplines such as software, Information Technology, Construction Management, recent graduates, and so forth. Eventually, we hope to accommodate a generalized network for all “makers of useful things” to integrate, certify, and match trades, artisans, and craftspersons to the markets that optimize everyone’s value.  

 

What industries does Blockchain Technology currently impact?

Early applications started with things like currency exchange, gambling and trade in questionable items. Bitcoin demonstrated many of the same characteristics as money. This quickly got the attention of banks and financial institutions. To the contrary, many governments including the US have yet to reconcile digital money with current legal structures governing money. Instead, the focus became the ability to execute contracts (including monetary exchange – a simple form of contract). Banks quickly saw the potential to replace layers of human administrators with smart contracts and the Blockchain boom arose. Insurance has long had a similar internal structure as Banks and the potential (and hype) continues there. In addition, legions of entrepreneurs and start-up are beginning to redesign critical financial functions using Blockchain due to its accessibility and dependence on front line development communities that are forming.

 

What does the use of Blockchain mean for the future of engineering?

We believe that Blockchain technology can elevate the engineering profession from the sidelines to the apex of financial instruments. Blockchain technology is give engineers some power in enacting prioritizing projects based on maximizing social benefit, sustainability of natural resources, and financial feasibility. Further, a crypto-currency that represents engineering would have intrinsic value far beyond any current crypto-currency simply because value would be stored in public and private infrastructure upon which the economy utterly depends. Frankly, I believe that an engineering coin could rise to become a global reserve currency.  

 

What are current examples of an engineering application for Blockchain today?

There is a recent up swell of activity in the BIM (Building Information Management) community. BIM is an evolution of computer-enabled engineering that has successfully deployed in a variety of industries. For example, the Boeing 777 is the first aircraft completely “built” on a computer before being built in real life. Advancements are now being deployed to buildings, structures, and large infrastructure projects as well as machinery medical devices, 3-D printing, Internet of Things, etc. More data than ever is being incorporated in EIM/BIM models including financial performance, supplier management, and materials sourcing and inventory. EIM/BIM is considered an ideal application for Blockchain Technology.

However, no Blockchain currently exists that is dedicated to the engineering field. There is one Blockchain application that exists today which emulated several of the components that we would deploy early in the engineering application. That project is called Steemit.com. Steemit is a Blockchain that awards a digital currency to people who upload useful content. The value of the award is proportional to the reputations of the people who validate the content. This would, in effect, perform admirably as a certification tool for collaborative professionals such as engineers.

 

Who are the beneficiaries of engineering industry adoption?

First and foremost, an economy whose currency represents actual human productivity would benefit all people. The greatest problems that face civilization are, at their core, engineering problems that require engineering solutions, not necessarily market based solutions. In fact, markets could not exist without engineering solutions, not the other way around.  

Next, the adoption would benefit engineers and engineering companies to elevate their works to a higher order in the financial system. As equal to banking and insurance, engineering can begin to mitigate many financial and insurable risks – again, all people benefit from low volatility in financial outcomes. Where the profession is elevated, more young people will seek engineering education leading to a further risk mitigation and sustainable business practices for everyone. This is the economy that was supposed to happen