Tag Archives: Blockchain

Property Ownership and Blockchain are a Natural Fit

Over the last 13 years, applications built on Blockchain and Smart Contracts have gained and lost attention many times over.  They are gaining spotlights when Bitcoin & NFT prices boom and losing it when coins & NFT prices go bust.  Notwithstanding headlines, ebbs, and surges, the Blockchain and “Smart Contract” technologies are solid.  In fact, reliable and stable, like a piece of land.  They are not going anywhere, and their value will only increase with time.

For many countries, blockchain technology could hold the keys to increasing income generated from land and real estate properties. Since 2009, blockchain has revolutionized many industries because, for the first time in the history of humanity, we can electronically exchange things with value. Some known blockchain-enabled transactions transfer money from one person to another without a bank, all done electronically with a button press. Blockchain is the only technology that can streamline land transactions, especially for countries where land transactions are still afflicted with inefficiency, fraud, corruption, and lack of transparency.

A land system that uses blockchain in its technology mix can reform an entire real estate market. Imagine a world where the government offers instant land registration, and landowners trust (beyond a shadow of a doubt) the impossibility of tampering with or burning their ownership title without their consent. A universe where a buyer can validate the identity and ownership of the seller, and a seller can validate the availability of the buyer’s funds all in a few minutes. Imagine the entire transaction, including the government getting fees, the seller receiving payment, and the buyer (or bank) getting the title, all happening simultaneously and in less than a few minutes. This world is possible with blockchain. A reform indeed.

The implication of blockchain in land and real estate is nothing less than revolutionary. Nations can leverage this technology to increase their income. Governments can increase their capacity to process transactions without having to increase costs. If a country such as the Sultanate of Oman is limited to 20,000 transactions and capping at $160 million in government fees, with blockchain, it has the potential to increase its processing power to unlimited capacity. It could potentially process 200,000 transactions without additional costs yet generating $1.6 Billion in income. That is the level of opportunities a country would be missing without technological updates. Of course, this assumes the country has the market size to grow. Scholars note that a country cannot reach its fullest market potential without an efficient and trustworthy foundation.   

Indeed, data show that property markets can triumph in some nations and fail in others. In one of the most influential books about properties, “The Mystery of Capital.” De Soto explains the importance of property rights and a formal property legal framework to the economy. He contends that secure property rights can unlock the potential of each individual and lead to increased investment, productivity, and wealth creation in a nation.  The book contrasts convincingly how Western capitalism triumphed because of secure property rights, while it failed elsewhere for the lack of a trustable property system. De Soto does emphasize trust between a population and their governments and between people transacting.

Blockchain solves both efficiency and trust. The Swedish government estimates their blockchain implementation saves over $106 million dollars in speeding up transactions and reducing fraud, among other efficiency gains[1] ( J.Wong (2017)). And when it comes to trust, The Economist called blockchain “The Trust Machine”. Blockchain allows strangers to transact because they know the technology cannot and will not cheat them. The market is much slower and smaller when trust has to be cultivated first. Only people that know one another (smaller circle) will transact. This makes the property market less equitable, where opportunities are made available to select people only.

In today’s world of deep fake Artificial Intelligence, it is easy to fake property deeds and identities and easy to hack centralized systems. Blockchain is the shield we need to trust that our rights are protected.

[1] https://qz.com/947064/sweden-is-turning-a-blockchain-powered-land-registry-into-a-reality

Jobs Are Changing In Oil and Gas. Here Is How and Why…

If we fast forward 10 years, what type of jobs will be still be relevant in upstream oil and gas ? Would your current job description read the same for a new applicant? Will it still exist?

There is no denying that technological changes are upon us.  When it comes to digital data technology, there are two waves of change in plain sight, one behind the other.  The first wave is in a bundle of technology enhancing and enabling one another. This bundle includes faster connectivity, IOT/ IIOT, Cloud, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Robots.  This change is already strongly underway.  The second wave is following closely behind the first and will probably have the same impact if not larger. This is in the distributed ledger and crypto technology, specifically Blockchain Technology.

The Why

The industry went through/is undergoing a crew change, with baby boomers retiring and younger employees stepping in. This crew change is coinciding with lower commodity prices, opening the door and arms to any technology could impact the bottom line.  These new technologies are proving themselves plenty, resulting in ever greater shifts in daily tasks, if not entire job descriptions.

Major technological change, like the above, always calls for adaptation or job abolition.  New skills will arise, some will be obsolete, yet others will morph. Reskilling or upskilling is no longer optional.

Back to the question, will your current job description read the same in 10 years? It’s a question worth pondering and answering.

The What and How

From our recent experience (and research), here are some of the many jobs that may morph into something different in the same way the map drafters (draftsman) morphed to Geotechs in the previous digital revolution from paper to digital:

  • Shale Reservoir Engineering: This job has increasingly focused on reserves estimation and economics. Granular estimates require customized production analyses. Today this task is time consuming and takes the bulk of Reservoir Engineer’s time. As capabilities in AI modeling advance, I believe “Supervised” or “Reinforcement” Machine Learning (ML) could automate this work, altering the job description to focus on detailed management and recovery efficiency of the reservoir.
  • Surveillance and Maintenance Engineering: today, for many digitally maturing organizations, automated surveillance and managing by exception has become the norm. However, predictive and prescriptive maintenance enabled by ML and Augmented Reality (AR) will become the new norm.  Furthermore, with blockchain or otherwise, vendors can be integrated in the ecosystem to ascertain equipment optimal performance for their customers (as additional services).  A combination of IIoT, ML, AR and expanded ecosystem alters inhouse surveillance and maintenance jobs, yet opens up new opportunities for service companies.
  • Lease Brokers and Land Administrators: with increased connectivity to source systems and with verifiable trusted data on immutable blockchain ledger, much of the due-diligence and verification work could be reduced if not fully automated in the future. These jobs could morph to something new and exciting.

Summary: Stay Relevent

IoT, IIOT, Cloud, AR, VR, Bots, ML-AI, and Blockchain are all here to stay. But as powerful as the digital world and machines are , they are not without flaws or challenges. The human mind will always be more flexible and can deal with more and forseeable scenarios. Nonetheless, some jobs will become obsolete, others will morph, and new ones will arise.          

Knowing what could change, how and when, will help you to prepare a strategic road map to stay ahead and relevant.

What jobs do you think will be different in 10 years? What new and exciting jobs will become available? Alternatively, let me know your job and I will share my thoughts on how it would morph (info@certisinc.com).

Here are some curated references:

  • SPE-194746-MS: The End of Petroleum Engineering as We Know It. From the SPE library
  • What to Do When Industry Disruption Threatens Your Career. MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2019

Considering Blockchain for E&P? Don’t Forget to Bake-in Data Integrity

A Welcomed Addition to the E&P Digital Landscape, Blockchain

Over the decades, energy companies have adopted many technologies and tools to enhance and advance their competitive advantage and business margins. Information Technology (IT) has played a significant role in those enhancements. Most recent examples in the news coming from AI, IoT and Cloud computing. Nonetheless, oil and gas is still struggling with few persistent data issues:

  1. security and data leakage
  2. siloed systems and/or a spaghetti of connections from ETLs, and
  3. reliability of data quality.

As a consequence, workflows and processes are still filled with examples of inefficiency and rework. But an emerging technology, Blockchain[1] may have the answer we’ve been waiting for.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger and crypto technology which brings with it the promise of connectivity, security and data reliability that we have not been able to achieve with past technology, and which was desperately needed in this very specialized industry.

Data Integrity Baked In Business Processes

Because it is possible to enter wrong data in blockchain applications, thinking about how to capture and disseminate good data quality using blockchain applications is important to ensure quality analysis and sound, informed decision making.

Blockchains can live alongside the current data architecture as a data governance layer and passively monitor quality. However, baking data integrity into business applications from the ground up is the best way forward.

Along with distributed ledger and crypto signatures, blockchain also offers a smart contract feature which allows us to re-engineer and re-imagine processes and how we all work together. Thinking through the last-mile problem to build data integrity into the application from the ground up will be one of the key success factors that will make or break your ultimate solution. New jobs will arise to ensure that correct information is being captured, as specialists that can verify information validity will be a must. These specialists will be similar to insurance adjustors that testify a claim is valid prior to insurance payment.

The further good news is blockchain data will only need to be verified once. No more having to verify the same data over and over again!!! Who has time for that?!

Recommended Resources

[1] A plethora of material describing blockchain are everywhere. Make sure you are reading  curated articles.  One good reference is from IBM (not endorsing their technology, Certis is vendor agnostic): Blockchain for dummies

For additional information, architecting, implementing and training on successful Blockchain projects please contact us at info@certisinc.com