NSPE Launches FinTech Task Force

by Dan Robles on November 5, 2015

nspeThe National Society of Professional Engineers has formed a task force to research and review blockchain applications aimed at the banking and insurance sectors for applicability and impacts to the engineering profession.  The task force is made up of 8 visionary engineers from within the membership.  Daniel Robles, PE (this author) was appointed to lead the task force by the president of the NSPE and approved by the board of directors.

Today, Licensed Engineers serve an essential role in the economy as adjudicators to banking and insurance industry underwriting of our nation’s infrastructure, in effect, supporting the value of our currency.  The integrity of infrastructure is what supports the majority of assets on a corporate or municipal balance sheet. It is a natural progression that Professional Engineers would articulate their judgement in design, safety, process, and longevity of these critical assets on smart contracts in blockchain protocol.

For example; The design and construction process is comprised of a master contract and a long series of minor contracts.  Validations, inspections, compliance and defect assurance etc, can all be articulated as smart contracts on a project blockchain where the licensed professional engineer serves as an adjudicator to flip the switches that release payments, trigger insurance coverage, time stamp completion, or open the next contract in a series of work orders.

Further, Curiosumé is an application developed by The Ingenesist Project that converts a résumé into cryptography.  This may be used to fabricate smart keys to open and close smart contracts on a blockchain.  By decentralizing the adjudication process, moral hazard and negative incentives can be effectively eliminated from acquisition, commissioning, servicing, and maintenance of high value public and private assets.

There’s an old saying that “A fish does not have a word for water”. This is because water is so elemental in the life of a fish that they can’t even see it. The same can be said for public infrastructure.  We often take for granted the availability of clean water, warm buildings, and safe transportation that we do not often see it as a storage place for value.  In fact, infrastructure is the perfect store of value because without it, society is far less productive where, say, we had to ride a mule, grow our own food, or chop wood for heat, etc.  It is well observed that the value of a nation’s currency is directly proportional to the value of their infrastructure.

The Liquidity Crisis

Many people in the cryptocurrency space are coming to terms with the speculative nature of the current collection of crypto-coins.  They realize that a virtual asset cannot be represented as a physical asset without some intrinsic intermediary to store real value. Cryptocurrencies appear to solve part of the problem of transferring an asset, but suffer many new problems such as articulating quantity and quality of the asset. In essence, money must represent human productivity otherwise people would not be willing to work in exchange for it – this is the source of low mainstream adoption and poor liquidity of cryptocurrencies.  The social agreement required to form a true currency is, and will remain, elusive without intrinsic value.

The engineering profession is precisely the means by which that intrinsic conversion can be implemented. People need electricity, they need food, shelter, energy, schools, bridges, highways, and airplanes and are willing to convert their own productivity in producing these things in reciprocal exchange with others producing these things.  Blockchain transactions must be developed to represent stored value in infrastructure thereby holding intrinsic value from which supply, demand, and factors of production (markets) can behave as needed in a functional economy.

NSPE Launches FinTech Task Force

The NSPE task force is an extremely important step in bridging financial industries with the needs of people and society. This may be one of the most important developments coming out of the cryptocurrency domain since the Satoshi Genesis block one.


Municipal Governance On The Blockchain

by Dan Robles on October 13, 2015

treesviewAs a member of the City of Edmonds Planning Board, I hear a lot about what the public wants and what they do not want from their local government.  As a seaside town, property values can be greatly impacted by water and mountain views.  As such, there is an incentive to remove trees blocking views.  In other parts of town, the urban forest is extremely beautiful and there is great incentive to preserve trees from high density developers. So what happens when a town wants to regulate trees?  In our case, it was NOT an Edmonds kind of day. Perhaps it’s time to try municipal governance on the blockchain. 


Many municipalities are adopting laws which may restrict the cutting of trees on private property in response to factors such as canopy loss, erosion control, wildlife protection, urban forest management, development, view amenities, climate change, etc.; or to enhance tree cutting to make way for new development and associated tax dollars. However, most models for tree regulation are unpopular with their imposing fines, permit fees, high density development, and government regulation on private property. Yet, these fines and permit fees are required to fund a bloated top-heavy tree code in the first place!!


Incorporate cryptographic and/or block chain technology to create a web-based public ledger and tree inventory that everyone can see and anyone can audit. By adding simple gamification features, the tree code may become self-regulating as players interact with the game. This may minimize government involvement, except in the most exceptional circumstances.


Think of it like a huge public accounting ledger that everyone can see, but can only edit their own data.  Instead of accounting for money, the ledger accounts for trees.  The game starts when a property owner registers his or her own trees on the ledger.  The city will issue cryptocurrency based on the number of tree units the property owner claims. These tokens would go into an electronic wallet on a blockchain associated with the property parcel number.  Each year, the resident will be issued more tokens by the city as their trees grow – the value of the tokens is derived from climate data or LIDAR surveys.  Some years may increase token values, some years may decrease token value based on estimated growth rates.

When a person wants to cut down a tree, they need to spend tokens to do so. Ideally, A property owner would not cut down more than they can grow. If they don’t have enough tokens, then they need to buy them from adjoining neighbors who are also trying to grow more than they must lose. If trading is restricted to adjoining properties (not commoditized like carbon credits), then community actions must be agreed upon by neighbors to settle any difficult situations.

The city would rarely get involved except to peg the value of the tokens on climate data. Algorithms programmed into the public ledger would manage the token values and electronic wallet exchanges automatically.

Shifts incentives

This sounds innocent enough.  But in reality, it changes all of the incentives that we are now attempting to manage with convoluted linear rules and imposing government regulations on private property.

For example,

  • It rewards tree preservation.
  • It rewards early and active registration,
  • It is self-enforcing because neighbors have a vested interest, and the ledger is public.
  • It is self-governing because neighbors need to agree on price.
  • It is self-limiting – an area cannot get rapidly stripped without progressive costs.
  • If a developer tries to take out a lot of trees, the neighbors can make it very expensive to do so – or negotiate concessions, etc.
  • If an arborist is needed, then the business case exists to hire one.
  • The municipality is able to referee disputes and establish coin allocations based on canopy quota or weather conditions, etc.
  • It provides tree liability (or asset) disclosure at property sale.

Business case

Today, proposed tree code regulations expose the citizens to cutting fees as high as $1000 dollars per tree. Violations for unauthorized cutting can approach $3000 dollars per tree. This money is required to fund a tree department that may consist of up to 3 arborists (for a small seaside town in Washington state; pop. 50,000), a permit reviewer, an enforcement arm, and possible court challenges. It could cost a million dollars per year to have an effective tree code for a city under 100,000 people, or 10 dollars per person per year just to regulate.

A price point of 1 dollar per citizen per year would therefore not be an extraordinary amount of money for a city to resolve a difficult social problem with modern technology.   Several thousand small cities dot the American coastline making this a strong candidate for private entrepreneurial partnership simply to maintain and audit the public ledger.


A new generation of web applications and cryptographic technologies would allow this activity to happen autonomously. No new labor is required. No regulators are needed, no special penalties or enforcement mechanisms are required.  The city can stay out of the private property tree business completely.

Technically, this is called a multi-agent algorithmic game on a decentralized autonomous platform.  The difference is that today, these things can be made to look and feel like a game that is fun to play – people may play it. How many other Municipal Governance functions can be self-governed on a blockchain such as motor vehicles, animal control, gun control, schools, parking, water rights, energy, executive power, or any intrinsically valuable shared community asset.



BidPool Adjudicated Smart Contract Game

by Dan Robles on October 12, 2015

coengineers.comProblem:  Many contractors say that their COGS (cost of goods sold) consumes 10-30% of their expenses. Obviously, this cost is passed on the customer.  Bidding can be made far more efficient with BidPool Adjudicated Smart Contract Gaming platform.

For example: 5 contractors may spend $10K bidding on a 1 million dollar project that only one will win. Further, each contractor may only win 1 out of 5 bids submitted. These losses are ultimately passed on to the market in increased cost, lack of industry collaboration, and influence peddling. As such, the cost of bidding is represented by the following relationship:

Cost of bidding = COGS multiplied by Number of Bidders

Adjudicated smart contract: Consider a process where a project owner and all 5 contractors (or more) each put a $10K promissory note into a blockchain  escrow account. An engineering firm such as Coengineers, PLLC will then perform a 3rd-party project definition report and Statement of Work that collects all relevant information that the contractors would need to bid on a job. All contractors are then invited to an electronic RFP.

Game Mechanics: Whoever wins the RFP pays (by escrow release) $10K to Coengineers, PLLC for the SOW report. The losers pay nothing. If the owner does not select a contractor, the owner then pays for the report and can use it to hold another contest in the future. These savings are ultimately wrapped into the discount of the projects according to the following relationship:

Cost of bidding = COGS divided by number of bidders

Aligned Incentives: Where there is no penalty for either winning or losing, the incentive to cheat is reduced. The Value Game realigns major incentives and the projects benefit from.

  • Improve matching of qualifications to the project
  • Improve quality and seriousness of owners (no “tire kickers”)
  • Eliminates bidding redundancy
  • Everyone bids “apples to apples”
  • Rewards collaboration and intangible assets
  • Reduces project variance (i.e., change orders)
  • Reduces marginal cost of additional bidders
  • Opens market to more bidders (prediction markets)
  • Increases transparency
  • Reduces project costs
  • Insulates conflict of interest
  • Resistant to corruption

Additional benefits:

A comprehensive project definition can be used for many purposes downstream:

  • Contractor RFI/RFP
  • Master Schedule
  • Bank Financing
  • Project Insurance
  • Statement of work
  • Contract language
  • Inspection compliance
  • Construction and Accounting Forensics


Future advancements in financial technologies such as the Blockchain protocol and Knowledge asset networks such as the Curiosumé protocol will allow BidPool to scale infinitely to many project types, markets, and jurisdictions.


BidPool is a Value Game that reduces the cost of procurement, increasing project assurance, and realigning market incentives to reward high integrity and not reward low integrity. By introducing simple game mechanics and deploying modern financial and knowledge Asset technologies, BidPool may generalize procurement across markets and industries with direct lineage to the banking, insurance, and engineering sectors.

For more information contact Coengineers.com


Gun Control On The Blockchain

by Dan Robles on October 6, 2015

The following discussion related to Gun Control On The Blockchain is a thought-exercise only inspired by new and emerging technologies for decentralized self-governance and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the author. It is not intended to favor any single political position. it is not presented as a comprehensive solution to all scenarios. This article is intended to invite readers to imagine new approaches and constructs to resolve complex governance issues using blockchain technology on public ledgers.  

Gun Control On The BlockchainProblem: According to some sources, 280,000 Americans have died from guns in the last decade.  Even opponents of gun control acknowledge that there is a need to assure that a gun owner is qualified to operate each specific type of firearm that they possess. Even proponents of gun control acknowledge that registering a gun with a central authority (government, insurance, gun schools) constitutes a loss of civil liberty. Everyone knows that “blanket legislation” accomplishes little more than punishing a large number of responsible people in order to deter a relatively small number of irresponsible people.

Proposal: A person who seeks to acquire a gun may create an anonymous Curiosumé persona that includes their training, qualifications, mental health record, police record, and personal references from other qualified gun owners, etc. This anonymous information can then be encrypted and time stamped on a blockchain. Any changes in these conditions must be added to the persona by one-way edit.  The identity of the persona remains on a private key held by the owner.

Gun dealers would be able to sell the level of armament commensurate with the threshold of competence evident by a quasi-anonymous persona. In the event of a disputed gun discharge, the actual identity of the person and their gun becomes known, therefore, their private key can be revealed without loss of civil liberty.  If the gun owner’s persona is accurate, then they will be protected under the 2nd amendment and receive an isolated incident judgment.  If the person lied on their persona, they forfeit some protected under the 2nd amendment and receive broad penalty and liabilities.

Alternate: Gun Owner Insurance:

Without revealing identity, the gun owner’s Curiosumé persona may act as a proxy identity for the person. The proxy would then be assigned to a risk sharing cooperative pool based on similar Curiosumé personas of the other people in the pool. The gun owner would pay insurance premiums commensurate with their persona – i.e., corresponding to the correct risk pool of their persona. In the event of a claim, the identity is unencrypted and revealed. If the person cheated on their premiums, they would not be covered. If they were truthful, they would be covered for accidental discharge.


Disciplined and experienced owners will pay a trivial amount for gun insurance while beginners would pay substantially more. This is an incentive to become educated in the rules of firearm ownership. If an individual has demonstrated severe shortcoming of responsibility, judgment, or prior convictions, then they will be pooled with others possessing the similar characteristics. As such, their insurance would be exponentially more expensive, perhaps prohibitive. Therefore, they would need to pay more to own a gun and or complete a rehabilitation program.  The market will reach a new equilibrium of relative safety.

This type of arrangement applying a Curiosumé layer to a blockchain effectively preserves the identity of the gun owner while also providing essential data to a public ledger that may be assessed by gun dealers, gun trainers, insurance companies, mental health professionals, personal references, legislators, and the public at large.

Again, in the event of a shooting, the gun owner and their gun are discovered anyway, therefore privacy no longer exists. Only at that time may the public ledger be reviewed.  There is a negative incentive for all people in the chain of possession in a community to allow an unstable person to possess a gun.

In the event of a worst case scenario intended by our founding fathers requiring for a protection by a trained citizen militia, then the blockchain can be shut down until such civil order is restored.

The Curiosumé layer on a blockchain satisfies the 2nd amendment on all points while protecting the public by filtering incompetent owners without punishing competent owners through fair market forces.



Introducing Intrinsic Coin

August 15, 2015

From Wiktionary: INTRINSIC Nothing economic can happen until two or more people get together and build something useful.  In a global human network that is facing global constraints, the core function of the economy must be to find each other.  This is made extremely difficult by the existing “factors of production” that now classify and […]

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The Bitcoin Protocol And The Future Currency Impact On The Engineering Profession

August 11, 2015

Beginning with the failure of the NAFTA Mutual Recognition of Professional Engineers followed by an introduction to modern cryptocurrencies, this seminal presentation specifies a future where engineering knowledge represented by a virtual asset may store true intrinsic value. This presentation was filmed at the 2015 National Society of Professional Engineers Annual Conference, Advanced Leadership Track, […]

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Protected: Intrinsecus – The First Intrinsic Cryptocurrency Platform

August 11, 2015

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Bitcoin Protocol Future Currency Impact On The Engineering Profession

August 6, 2015

Beginning with the failure of the NAFTA Mutual Recognition of Professional Engineers followed by an introduction to modern cryptocurrencies, this seminal presentation specifies a future where engineering knowledge represented by a virtual asset may store true intrinsic value. This presentation was filmed at the 2015 National Society of Professional Engineers Annual Conference, Advanced Leadership Track, […]

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New Factors Of Production

July 28, 2015

From classical economics, we are familiar with land, labor, and capital (money) as those things that the benevolent merchant class allocates as a means of producing all things useful to society. Today, we observe that the new factor of production in an economy is data. Data is the dominant factor being allocated, or constrained, by […]

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Engineering With Blockchains

July 11, 2015

Bitcoin uses Proof-Of-Work (POW) to create a new block in a blockchain.   This is analogous to the kidnappers taking a photo of the victim holding the daily newspaper to establish that they are still alive.  Consequently, no proof can last more than a few seconds until the next newspaper is printed.  In other words, […]

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