How can Blockchain Technology impact Architecture?


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One of the hot topics today, rather for years now, has been blockchain technology. Even if anyone is not a banking, finance enthusiast, they still are not unfamiliar with the terminology. The complexity of managing a business or an organisation in present times has necessitated the use of latest technologies. This ensures efficacious and efficient management and smooth operation, blockchain is one such management tool that works wonders! The technology involves decentralising data storage, in a way that the data cannot be owned, controlled or manipulated by a central power/authority. It is the record keeping technology behind the bitcoin network.

Before understanding how blockchain and related technologies like NFTs can possibly affect architecture, it is highly important to understand blockchain and yes, NFTs in detail. Let’s get to business, shall we?

What is Blockchain Technology?

For more than a decade now, blockchain has created a buzz. The seemingly complex technology is actually quite simple to understand; keep reading and you will get what I am talking about.

So, blockchain is basically, a type of database, which is different from other databases because of the way it stores information. Before understanding the storage process, let us delve into a database.

A collection of electronically stored information on a computer (system) is a database. Now, this information, for easy searching is structured in a table format; somewhat like a spreadsheet, but spreadsheets and databases are different.
While the former are designed for a person or a small group, the latter houses a significantly large amount of information/data that can be accessed quickly and easily by ‘n’ number of users at once!

Since the amount of data stored is huge and hence, heavy, large databases house data on servers, made of very powerful computers. Such servers, many times are built using hundreds or thousands of computers – the computational capacity has to be quite powerful, to enable quick and easy access of data by multiple users, simultaneously. 

While spreadsheets or databases are accessible by number of people, but they are often owned and/or controlled by a business or, a person assigned to do that task. The business organisation or the appointed person holds complete control over the spreadsheet and hence, that data. Blockchain differs in this respect as it doesn’t let a single entity own or control the data.

This happens because blockchain collects information in blocks, and these info-filled blocks connected, form a chain. So, we can say that all blockchains are databases, but all databases are not blockchain. Thus, we say that, block-chain is A TYPE OF database. This system when implemented in a decentralised manner, makes an irreversible data timeline!

What are NFTs?

NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens. They rely on the decentralised power of blockchain technology, to verify their authenticity. But these non-fungible tokens are not interchangeable like bitcoin. Unlike the latter, the former doesn’t have the same value at same time – they are like a unique, digitally authentic certificate, publicly rubber-stamped by blockchain tech! 

Non-fungible tokens cannot be swapped to buy a car, food or anything else, as each NFT is attached to a particular digital asset, that can be a piece of art or a coupon, etc. They can be used to represent items such as audios, videos, photos and other types of digital files.

How will architecture be affected? 

Block-chain technology has had an impact on financial services and finds applications across industries. Cryptocurrencies have slowly but quite impactfully had an impact on payments, forex, remittances, etc. 

Architecture, or so to say, real estate hasn’t been left untouched by the changes this technology is bringing! Transactions in real estate are usually conducted offline, but block-chain is evolving the ways here. Smart contracts, for example, allow assets like buildings to be tokenised and traded like cryptocurrencies. 

These contracts are backed by block-chain technology and are self-executing contracts between buyers and sellers. Since they use this technology, these contracts allow trusted transactions among anonymous parties! 

Block-chain technology can affect architecture in following ways:

New ways to deal
A sector that has traditionally been concerned with connecting buyers and sellers, posting listings, is changing with the advent of block-chain technology. The tech is introducing new ways for realtors to trade. Plus, it is enabling online marketplaces, trading platforms to support and promote real estate trade. It will prove to be revolutionary with regards to ‘trading architecture’.

Real estate assets have always been considered in the liquid category, as they can be sold and usually take time to sell. This is not the case with cryptocurrencies, as they can be exchanged or traded readily for fiat currencies.
Now that buildings, are being treated as tokens, they would be readily traded! Implying thereby, sellers and buyers won’t have to wait for long, at all! This would in turn, give a boost to realtors and also to developing newer architectural wonders.

The most talked about feature about the technology in question is decentralised storage. The information stored is accessible to all peers, ensuring transparency and immutability. This in turn helps build trust and make it a part of the system.

This is making buyers and sellers conduct transactions confidently without worrying too much. Of course, fraudulent cases are coming down.

With increasing trust among peers and decreasing fraud cases, operations, transactions and hence, construction are bound to take place faster.

Elimination of middlemen or intermediaries
Even if we keep the technology aside, there are several benefits of keeping the middlemen out of an equation – the foremost being, reduced costs!

With the advent of fast-paced technological developments, new platforms will take up functions like listing, payments, etc., hence rendering intermediaries obsolete. This would benefit the buying and selling parties, as they would be able to save on commissions and fees. This will obviously, make processes faster as a buyer and seller would be able to connect directly and trade, without any middlemen.

To sum things up… 

I hope you are not confused or are less confused (for the least), after going through this blog. Block-chain is one of the safest, secure technologies that businesses, organisations, governments, cyber-cells, banks and banking institutions, etc. are using these days. 

With the blockchain network growing steadily, on a daily basis, it is highly likely that every business would eventually choose the ‘decentralised way’. So, if you have an idea or doubts on similar lines, connect with a competent and dependable app development and web solutions company today. 

Get your queries answered and move ahead in the most updated manner by incorporating the best the tech-world has to offer. You and your venture can also soar high with the rise of blockchain technologies – something that finds use in multiple domains. Clearly, there is immense scope of exploring and benefitting.

Ankit Singh
Ankit Singh is the Founder and COO of Techugo, one of the fastest-growing mobile application development companies, based in India, USA & UAE. Follow him on FB and Twitter...


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