Frequently Asked Questions
How is Blockchain better than paper logs, .pdfs, Excel or databases?
Once information is verified and added to a public blockchain, it lives permanently on the web and cannot be altered. Individuals or institutions with the proper credentials can access the information with open-source tools or customized web-based applications. Information for commissioning and validation is shared directly on the blockchain, not copied and sent between parties. The WeldChain is not owned or maintained by any one entity. After is has been launched, it is public and available for the benefit of the entire community.
What can I do with the WeldCoins that I earn? Are they taxable?
WeldCoins are used to extract information from the WeldChain. For example, to get weld status information for a project, to assemble turn over packages, to register with an agency to explore job opportunities or for owners and contractors to collect benchmarking information. WeldCoins can also be converted into crypto or fiat currency, but would be taxed as income at that time.
Where are the evidence documents that I upload to the WeldChain stored?
Any evidence document that is uploaded to the WeldChain dApp is stored on a networked file system. Similar to the blockchain, this file system is distributed over the web and is permanent and highly secure. The cost of storing these documents is included in the WeldChain transaction cost.
How can I be sure that my information on the WeldChain will not be lost, changed or shared without my permission?
WeldChain transactions are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain platform. This platform has been in heavy use since 2016 and has proven itself as a secure, robust and immutable. Hundreds of billions of dollars and growing of value on the Ethereum platform demonstrates the trust that individuals and institutions have placed in its security and permanence.
Isn't blockchain technology bad for the environment?
The most popular public blockchain platforms currently use a consensus protocol (Proof of Work) that involves heavy computing power to confirm additions to the blockchain. This uses significant amounts of electricity, which is both costly and contributes to green house gas emissions. Fortunately, the Ethereum platform will be transitioning to a different consensus protocol (Proof of Stake) that uses much less computing power and processes transactions much faster. This updated protocol should be in place by the time WeldChain is fully deployed!
Can I add existing weld documentation onto the WeldChain or am I starting from scratch?
Yes. Welds that have not been fully verified on the WeldChain can be added in order to bring prior projects or a welder's history up to date. However, these welds will be tagged as "unverified" on the WeldChain.
How does the cost of using WeldChain compare with existing methods of welding documentation?
Blockchain technology can reduce the cost of data collection, verification and storage by up to 85% vs paper-based systems. The cost savings for owners will depend upon the current level of automation and digitalization employed. As a benchmark, the estimated cost to extract complete information for a weld will be $12 in WeldCoin at launch and decrease steadily over time as higher usage spreads the development, maintenance and networks costs over an expanding set of transactions.
Do we need to change our Quality Manual or WPS, PQR and WPQR information in order to use WeldChain?
Companies responsible for maintaining their Quality Manuals, WPSs, PQRs and WPQRs will not need to change their current set of qualifying documents or quality systems. The main change is that the records will be accessible to the WeldChain and used to verify that each weld conforms to the quality requirements before it is permanently recorded on the blockchain.
When will the WeldChain dApp be available?
The first application of WeldChain technology will be rolled out to select biopharmaceutical and semiconductor customers in the third and fourth quarter of 2021. These industries were chosen since they use orbital autogenous welding. This type of welding is best suited for the electronic transfer of information to the blockchain and must meet stringent documentation standards to meet safety, regulatory and process requirements. The WeldChain will be available to all industries in the United States by the middle of 2022 and internationally by the end of 2022.
Is WeldChain acceptable for ASME, AWS, API, NFPA, AHJs and cGMP weld documentation?
Based upon our initial assessment and similar electronic documentation protocols currently in use, we believe that the WeldChain platform can be used as the exclusive permanent record of certified welds and their inspections. As part of our development plan, we will be engaging with authorities and consultants to confirm this assessment. The fact that the WeldChain smart contract code will be openly available for audit is one major advantage of building on the Ethereum blockchain.
Can you pay for the welds or inspections using WeldCoins?
The WeldChain is used to exchange information about welds and is not used to purchase goods and services such as welding labor, inspection labor or the weld itself.
Will the price of the WeldCoin fluctuate like Bitcoin?
The price of the WeldCoin is fixed to the US Dollar and will not fluctuate like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The value of the information added to the WeldChain as well as the cost to extract the information will fluctuate as the network evolves.