“If you BLD it, they will come.”
Today, we’re quite excited to do our first dive into BLDG BLOX (Building Blocks), our biggest initiative to-date and what our team has been dreaming up for two+ years now. We’re taking blockchain to the streets in an ambition to tackle one of the most disruption-worthy domains — our cities.
BLDG BLOX has been the end-game project of SNDBOX since we entered the blockchain space in 2016 with backgrounds in architecture and visions to reinvent client-based decision-making. We knew that behind the early obsession of crypto as only a financial instrument, there was a more elaborate landscape of opportunity to use crypto as a communal resource. After years of learning about the technology, experimenting with a broad range of creative projects, and waiting for much of the hype to settle in order to better navigate the best products and partners, we’re ready to announce the development of our new platform.
TLDR provided at the bottom
BLDG BLOX is a new foundation for collectively creating and engaging better cities. This application is a marketplace that allows users to socially invest in new development projects and neighborhood programs, incentivizing and nurturing stakeholdership in the places we live and love. Institutions, local governments, and real estate developers can in turn reward contributors that help drive decision-making and maintain the vibrancy of their places. We want our cities to be more efficient, more sustainable, more inclusive, more resourceful — more impactful. We believe that the proper integration of blockchain governance is an unprecedented stride in making that a reality.
Our vision is simple. If a city project — a new housing complex, park, museum, commercial building — stands to be successful, those that contribute to and maintain its success should be supported as well. Without these ‘stakeholders’ (not just the financially invested ones) — the residents, tourists, consumers, volunteers, surrounding organizations, and many more — there would be no success to speak of. And yet, the better that new development does, the more susceptible those constituents become to gentrification and being brushed aside.
BLDG BLOX utilizes blockchain software and a token reward network to cultivate a more sustainable social and financial link between stakeholders and their surrounding city fabric. The platform will use its native cryptocurrency ‘BLD’ to open up new ways for anyone to build stake in various projects and be rewarded for their contributions of all kinds. By staking and earning tokens, those constituents now have the opportunity to grow alongside the great changes in their cities.
Throughout the last few years and the recent explosion of interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the major benefits of decentralized technologies including security, transparency, openness, and more have become relatively well-understood by this point. With BLDG BLOX, we’re focusing on one specific innovation allowed by blockchain: leveraging new governance models to scale more impactful communities.
Bitcoin offered a ground-shattering solution to centralized finance — the removal of banks and financial institutions in favor of direct person-to-person transactions. We could, for the first time in many generations, collectively decide on and exchange value, not debt. BTC holders on the opposite ends of the world could almost instantly connect and transact with no institutional barriers, making global trades feel as if exchanging with neighbors in person.
Interestingly, the same innovation is applicable for urban development. Cities have always been difficult to govern, and the lack of scalable decision-making makes it near-impossible to leverage community needs to improve their neighborhoods. It’s easy to make decisions and maintain accountability with a dozen people in a conference room, even up to a few hundred in an auditorium. Neighborhoods have made due with non-profits and community-interest groups, and that works well enough for small-scale changes like a local garden or playground renovation. But what about the new multi-million condo down the street? Or the 5-year long city capital project? Or Amazon setting up their next headquarters in your borough? All other limitations in the development of building and public assets relate to this problem of scale as well, including donations, administrative costs, and general accountability. This is why cities face exponential challenges of governance and engagement as they continue to grow and densify.
And once this level of governance is established, those original offerings of blockchain — security, transparency, openness — become so much more impactful for institutions. This means more resources that are better used, more constituents that trust and support their process, and more capacity for impact. Imagine if we knew exactly and instantaneously how any given organization allocated its funding and donation pool.
For us as practitioners with architectural and urban design backgrounds, blockchain finally offers a way to bring all stakeholders — and not just the investors — into the building-development process. At the end of the day, no one knows how to improve our public places and civic assets more than the ones using them everyday. There must be a better solution to connect those with decision-making power with those with real-life and applicable experience. This brings along the opportunities to establish trust and transparency between parties that have typically stood at odds with each other.
So here we are, on a mission to pursue a decentralized vision for cities that are just flat-out better. We want our cities to be more sustainable, more equitable, and more vibrant. The goal of BLDG BLOX is to lay both technological and physical foundations that allow those ambitions to flourish. There’s a lot of ground to cover so we certainly hope you’ll follow us in pursuit of these goals.
Thank you all for sticking through this post with us! If the discussion here peaks some of your interest, be sure to follow this official Medium account and our Twitter. Now that we’ve gotten through this first big intro, there’s much to explore among the ideas, history, team, and more of BLDG BLOX.
Time to build.
- We’re creating an urban development ecosystem powered by blockchain technology, BLDG BLOX is our application and BLD is the token.
- Civic institutions and development companies can transparently incentivize and reward stakeholders and constituents. Think of a ‘token network for neighborhoods’.
- We’re excited, and we hope you are too! Follow our socials below.