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Blockchain technology creates 'single source of truth' for construction sites

Russell Hixson
Blockchain technology creates 'single source of truth' for construction sites

Digitization in construction is about to go far beyond just replacing paper.

Technology from Alberta-based Credivera allows credentials, certifications, professional memberships and more to be instantly updated and verified securely through a digital wallet on a smartphone.

Located in Calgary, Credivera recently announced a multiphase project with Alberta construction and energy company CANA.

Credivera uses private blockchain technology to give CANA access to verified, digital credentials on all work sites.

Dan Giurescu, CEO of Credivera, explained the technology means CANA can know instantly and with certainty that anyone coming onto the jobsite has the credentials they say they have and that they are in good standing.

“It is about having a single source of truth,” said Giurescu. “Think of the system as being a network of information. We are the network and we just make sure what you ask for is requested by the right person and they have the rights to get it.”

This access is granted by digital tokens, which immediately are revoked once the transaction is over.

“It is the most secure technology in the world from a hacking perspective.”

Giurescu explained credential issuing bodies, like safety training providers or professional associations, are linked to the employee’s digital wallet, meaning any changes, for example if some safety training expires, happen instantly for all parties given access.

Giurescu says the solution will remove the need for binders of certifications at a site, alleviate the risk of fraudulent trade documentation, and increase the confidence of site managers that everyone has the required credentials they need to operate safely and efficiently. 

It also can remove personal information liability by eliminating the need for an employee’s personal information to be stored for long periods of time.

Having a “single source of truth” could also revolutionize disputes. Simply put, blockchains are digital ledgers that cannot be altered. Giurescu explained if someone makes an accusation about an injury or issue that happened years in the past, data in the system could indisputably prove a wide range of facts, like who was on site, what credentials were in good standing and more.

“I remember walking onto sites in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and looking for waste management documents in sheds, and they just were hoping they were in good standing,” said Giurescu. “Sometimes you didn’t want to touch them because they are under chairs or covered in coffee stains. Imagine how powerful it is when you have a digital record of that day’s statements made by everybody accessible through a simple search. It’s huge.”

And less risk could mean lower insurance costs.

“There have been all sorts of reasons for insurance cost increases,” said Giurescu. “But if any of them are related to health and safety, the ability to easily audit that data with something like this can help create clarity.”

While Giurescu said new technology is often exciting, it means nothing if it isn’t smooth and easy to use. He believes this will be critical for the digitization of the construction sector.

Credivera spent roughly a year working with CANA to make sure the technology could be implemented easily onsite.

Training for the digital wallets takes roughly 25 minutes.

“You can’t give someone an app that requires three days of training to use,” he said. “We want to give someone something simple and let the magic happen behind the scenes. If the apps are complex and require lots of training you lose that person. That is the reality. For too long we have provided people with tech that has a bulky look and feel.”

 

Follow the author on Twitter @RussellReports.

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