In each era, the architecture industry advanced due to new trends in technology. Nowadays, cryptography is playing such a role. As the creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto used existing technology in a new way. As a result, bitcoin which stores its data on the blockchain became the leading technology. Blockchain and its real-world applications are constantly evolving. The construction industry is the last industry to get the newest technology. However, there are some attempts and experiences on how to use blockchain and its new driven technology, non-fungible token (NFT) in design and architecture.
What is blockchain?
As easy as it may seem, blockchain is a computer file just like any other file. In the first place, the main feature of this file is that it is constantly connected to the internet, it is very large, and it is expanding. To explain, at its core, blockchain is just a database. Also, it changes the internet’s infrastructure layer to help people secure their identities. Another key point, people using the software can maintain the blockchain. Notably, these people are called miners. With this in mind, by processing blockchain, people receive gold as a reward. To clarify, in its simplest form, they are mining virtual gold. To point out, With a good internet connection and a spare computer, anyone from anywhere can mine.
Since this technology is based on cryptography, the information is completely secure and can never be fraudulently changed. Especially, the risk of breaking and stealing the coins is too low. To explain, since multiple parties contribute to transactional data in real-time and all computers have the latest copy of the latest version and as well as its history, hackers can’t hold data or records ransom. Notably, we may say that blockchain could bring the democratization of data. Yet, the way to align the interests of maintainers and validating rules in the blockchain is the breakthrough of this technology. Also, distributed ledger technology (DLT) makes people responsible both for the data and the cash. Moreover, the free software is open-source and transparent which can make anyone help in return for a reward.
In traditional transaction banks, credit card companies, or another intermediary is required to verify and validate the transaction. However, blockchain uses a decentralized network of computers to process transactions.
Non-fungible token (NFT) in Design and construction industry
No other industry needs a more efficient way to collaborate and transact. Of course, projects of all scale involving multiple stakeholders and phases, from planning to design and finally to construction, maintenance, and operation can use blockchain technology.
Smart contracts are self-enforcing contracts enabled with blockchain technology. Furthermore, the contract itself behaves as a governing mechanism of the relationship of the parties. To put it simply, you put money in, get good of your choice, get your change, and the machine itself is secure in a way that breaking in it will cost more than its value.
In the design and construction industry and the complex transactional environment, you can break down the traditional contract for design, construction, and services into series of actions connected to payments. As a matter of fact, we can consider this series of small actions as a milestone for payment in smart contracts. Also, the question about smart contracts is not will they come to the industry or not, is when they will come.
Non-fungible token for architecture
Non-fungible token (NFT) is a unit of data in a blockchain system that is unique and not interchangeable. With this in mind, it can represent a digital file such as audio, video, art, and other forms of creative works. Besides, NFT can be bought on a market. Though Others can reproduce digital files, the NFT representing them in the blockchain system can provide proof of ownership.
To put it simply, the buyer of NFT won’t receive a sculpture or painting or anything physical. Given that, the NFT makes a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold. It means the work is original. In fact, it’s like buying an autographed print.
How can a Non-fungible token (NFT) be applied to architecture?
Let’s continue with more practical examples to emphasize the use of this technology in architecture. Krista Kim sells the “first NFT digital house in the world” for $500,000. The “Mars House” designed by Kim was sold on a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for 288 ether (a cryptocurrency similar to bitcoin). The house was rendered by Unreal Engine, which is a software that is commonly used to create video games.
“Jpeg file by digital artist Beeple sells for over $69 million at NFT auction”. The collage by the American artist Beeple became the most expensive digital art ever. The title of the image is “Everydays: The first 5000 days”. Any digital artifact can be authenticated using NFT.
“Villa Ortizet” in an architoys capsule by Anthony Authié and Charlotte Taylor is another project that was within the NFT Platform. The designer emphasizes that NFTs offer a potential business model for designers to work inside the virtual world.
Another project using the NFT Platform is selling the collection of “impossible” virtual furniture for $450,000 at an auction by Andrés Reisinger. The designer has sold 10 pieces of virtual furniture in an NFT.
A blockchain is a new form of technology that is evolving constantly. With that in mind, there are many benefits to this technology. In fact, whether you are using it for finance, smart contract, or art there is always a way to get benefit from this technology. Above all, it provides you with security in all your transactions. However, the construction industry, usually, is the last one to get the newest technology. Nowadays there are many new implications of using new technologies in architecture. It won’t take too long before we see the frequent use of this technology in the Construction industry. If you are interested, you can check our research about using artificial intelligence in skyscraper’s form-finding in this article. Tell us about what you think on our social media.