Bank of Canada investigates the possibility of issuing a central bank digital currency
Bank of Canada has released a new report that considers the pros and cons of digital currencies, and considers the possibility of implementing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The report, named “Central bank digital currency: motivations and implications”, lists a number of benefits of creating a CBDC, with society increasingly moves away from cash, instead looking towards digital transactions.
The staff discussion paper also note that such a cryptocurrency could become a cheaper alternative to other forms of payment like debit and credit cards, and, as a result, this would likely see it emerging as a prominent payment option within the retail industry.
“With no transaction fees charged by the central bank, the benchmark CBDC would probably be less expensive for merchants than cash and credit cards,” the report reads.
However, authors Walter Engert and Ben Fung also found that whilst a CBDC would display many similar characteristics to existing cryptocurrencies, one of the key benefits of existing digital currencies such as Bitcoin is that they are not controlled by any bank.
In this sense, with there being both benefits and drawbacks of banks proceeding with the creation of centralised cryptocurrency, the report concludes that those looking to do this should proceed with caution given the complexity and uncertainty that would surround such a venture.
“A CBDC could have important consequences, which would depend on its specific attributes, and could include both benefits and costs. Accordingly, assessing CBDC requires careful analysis of motivations and potential implications, including an assessment of the risks that might arise from CBDC.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.