The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo (SP) is looking for ways to solve its infrastructure problems in cryptocourrency. The state, which houses 45 million people plus the capital – the largest metropolis in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world – plans to use a token called Buildcoin that pays engineers around the world to research feasibility solutions. These studies will be necessary to evaluate the practicality and justify the expenses of large construction projects.
To test the concept, Sao Paulo will gather and finance studies for the program ‘Ilumina SP’, which aims to replace the old public lighting system with newer and more efficient alternatives. If successful, the blockchain solution could be an alternative for governments, who wish to invest in infrastructure but do not have the resources to pay for independent, quality studies – which are needed to attract foreign investors and make the project evolve.
Sao Paulo officials say a model that can attract minds from around the world and reward them with cryptocurrency can help the state meet infrastructure needs more transparently, cheaper, and faster than the current process. “We like innovation in Sao Paulo and the blockchain and the cryptocourrencies are following an interesting path; and nothing is more acceptable than to start experimenting with this alternative, “said Helcio Tokeshi, state farm secretary, to Coindesk.
How does it work?
Sao Paulo is joining this initiative with CG / LA Infrastructure, Washington DC Consulting and BuildCoin Foundation, a company based in Zug, Switzerland. The pilot project will leverage CG / LA global network of 60,000 infrastructure specialists with the foundation’s token, designed to create alternative payment ecosystems for the construction industry.
First, governments will submit proposals to the BuildCoin Foundation for review. The selected projects would be highlighted and targeted to specialists in the CG / LA database. So, that’s when the coin comes in, an ERC-20 token spinning on top of an Ethereum blockchain.
For example, an engineer in Finland who specializes in bridges could receive an invitation to collaborate with a feasibility study of a bridge commissioned by the Brazilian government. He would receive remuneration at Buildcoin based on his overall contribution to the project and measured on a system similar to Reddit, in which other participants can evaluate the quality of their work.
Why had the engineer accepted payment in a specialized digital token instead of cash, which he could spend at the local supermarket? If everything happens according to plan, Buildcoin would eventually be redeemable for other services in the same ecosystem, such as subcontracting other partner companies, market research, and professional training. Similar to many other blockchain-based projects, the value proposition would become stronger as more participants entered the network.