Smart City And Blockchain - When Innovation Meets Technology

Improving the quality of life by bringing innovation to all the sectors of an urban area is the ultimate motto behind the concept of a smart city. In this article, we will deep dive into the implementation of Blockchain in building smart cities.

Improving the quality of life by bringing innovation to all the sectors of an urban area is the ultimate motto behind the concept of a smart city. According to these sources, about 55% of the population is living in urban areas and this rate is estimated to reach 68% in 2050. With smart cities and the latest technologies like blockchain, IoT, etc. things are going to be more adaptive in urbanization point of view.

A smart city is the new way of urbanization and sustainable growth can achieve with such efforts. People from rural areas are migrating to urban areas expecting more opportunities and a better life. With no proper resources, life must have been difficult and they switch themselves to towns and cities with an expectation of good days. Cities offer better living standards and facilities which make people attracted towards it.

The present day and the challenges!

As the urbanization begins to accelerate in developed and developing countries, there are many challenges to face by the government. When you consider a city with a large population, the resources will be spread out to all the corners. From basic payments to advanced healthcare, every such sector is a part of this city life.

If the population keeps growing at such a rapid rate, everything is going to have a negative effect. The government has to adopt the necessary actions to make everything go in a systematic way. Technical upgrades have to be implemented to perform things right if not a vale of doom days will be the result! Many problems will arise due to this huge number of the population like,

  • Food and water scarcity
  • Lack of resource availability
  • Not enough energy to utilize (Power shortage)
  • Cost of living
  • Transportation issues etc.

Making cities smart with new technologies is a brilliant idea and it can run the course of facilitation to everyone’s life in urban areas. Like I mentioned earlier, Blockchain together with IoT can bring the necessary changes to the smart city and make the ideation even smarter. Let’s get to know more about and become more familiar with these terms.

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain in simple words is a ledger system distributed among the connected network to validate the data (transaction). It’s more like a digital book that stores the validated data like the transaction, identity documents, etc.

It’s a promising technology and useful in major industries. The blockchain is thus beneficial if integrated with smart city planning. I’ll discuss with you about these industrial applications on the later side of this article.

Smart city, IoT, & blockchain – An overview!

It’s the limitations caused by urbanization that caused the emergence of new survival methodologies like the smart city. Let’s explain the concept of the smart city with a user case, consider the waste management system of the city. At present, the agency or government cleaning team need to literally travel in times to monitor the volume of waste dumped and then cleaning up and again picking up and disposing of it.

It consumes a lot of time and it’s not reliable to travel around all the time. If smart city concepts are introduced then this process gets aligned into a proper structure. Regular monitoring can be made using the latest technology (in this case IoT) and up-to-date information will be shared to the concerned group.

Smart City And Blockchain - When Innovation Meets Technology 

IoT uses data and sensors to solve the above scenario. It senses the waste accumulation and alerts the team to clean up and other sorts of information. Just like that if you’re in the transportation sector where live traffic information has to be shared to make travelling more easier and comfortable to drive through. If there are no people inside the house and your air conditioner is still cooling up for no need, won’t that be a wastage of energy? With IoT, this information will be stored and by sensing that there are no people around the house, it automatically switches off the air conditioner and saves the energy consumption.

A brilliant idea, Isn’t it?

Smart City And Blockchain - When Innovation Meets Technology 

Yes, that’s how you club the smart city with IoT, so what’s the role of blockchain? If a single unit or a person is connected to all the above notifications and data, won’t that person be confused? The person has to single-handedly perform all the tasks without fail. Blockchain can link everything together and validate everything without any complexities.

Smart city & blockchain – The future!

In the earlier part of this article, I have specified that blockchain have many industrials applications and it does have an important role to play in a smart city. The smart city combines every source of sectors aligned together just like the picture depicted below,

Smart City And Blockchain - When Innovation Meets Technology 

Let’s see the impact in various industries,

Blockchain for transaction

Every sort of payments from the financial sector to basic transactions can be easily carried out using the blockchain technology. No manipulations can be done as the technology validates the transactions.

Banking and other financial industries become smart with blockchain and new digital coins (cryptocurrency) can be used as the mode transaction. Alongside the normal fiat currencies (government regulated physical money), digital currencies can also be used for transactions as an alternate option.

Blockchain in data security & identity

Data is valuable and needs to have high-level security. They must not be misused for any other purpose. From local business to government or Mayor Offices keep various records and the data are kept in the hard or safe copy.

These data have to be shared among different branches or organizations. What if the data is misused or hacked by someone? Europeans have implemented GDPR laws to keep the data safe. As technology has opened up a world smartly, blockchain can be implemented.

With permissioned blockchain, these data can be shared among those who are in need and if an intruder gets into steel the information, he won’t get any data. The nodes connected in the network need to validate it if any changes are made and if not, it will be void. Thus the confidential data and identities of the citizen can be kept safe using blockchain.

Blockchain in real estate

Real estate is yet another space that needs to become smart, and blockchain can perform this task from basic details of land to registration. This concept got elevated after the emergence of smart contracts.

Smart contracts are a set of protocols (here, the land laws and rules) written in a set of codes stored as a file alongside with the blockchain codes. This can replace the traditional agreement based deals and make things smart in a smart city.

Blockchain in power management

Yet another space to occupy will be power management. Just like mentioned above, blockchain can make things lighter in managing power and energy. It can help to manage consumers, how much power they are consuming, the payment side, and much more.

Blockchain in waste management

Waste management needs to be effective and I’ve mentioned the applicability of blockchain (plus IoT) in the earlier part of this article. It’s the best method to make the city clean and tidy; a systematic approach can be thus bringing into the system.

Blockchain in logistic

Yet another space to occupy in the smart city will be the logistics industry. The combined effort of blockchain and IoT can bring better days not just in the logistics part but also for the entire supply chain process within the city limits.

Handling the different prospects of the logistics section is handy and how exactly can the duo-side bring in a proper structure? Every event in the industry is noted from transactions to the delivery of the product to the customer end with clear visibility. Bringing in proper traceability and transparency is the proper solution that a smart city can resolve using the technology.

A fair trade without any misleading factors and brings peace of mind for the company and customers is the ultimate aim of this “smart” proposal. IoT with sensors can track down the supply and transportation with every basic detail whereas blockchain lets the transaction validated and recorded in the digital ledger. After the validation, it is added up in the blockchain as a block that cannot be altered unless the connected nodes approve the change.

So, blockchain can be the best complimentary technology for the smart city and for your best interests learn more blockchain (a beginners guide).

Is this combo the next way to shape the future?

Now that we have come across the course of the run (blockchain and smart city), it’s time to conclude the article with what to expect in the future of urban life. If the smart city is integrated or supported using this particular technology we can expect a super smart world.

There might be some limitations when you execute the plan but it can be huddled over with proper planning. Execution is the key and lets you know what blockchain can achieve that cannot be achieved until this day.

A new future is open up to the world and many big heads have already invested in these technologies to create something fantastic. Many have considered this duo-system as the best solution to get rid of every difficulty not just in smart city concept but also for other existing systems. Let’s see what the future look like and hope everything goes well.