A Blockchain is a trusted distributed database system across a large network of users. This allows parties to cooperate to ease processes and transactions. Blockchain makes transactions more anonymous while maintaining security. In simpler terms, a blockchain is a database made up of blocks of information. Each block represents a certain process or transaction that has been made on this network of users. It is shared across a closed private network. The data is stored in blocks that are chained together. Once a block is added to the network, it becomes available for anyone to view. However, it cannot be modified. Now you know why Blockchain is transparent and secure. Though Blockchain is generally used as an encrypted digital ledger, it has other applications as well. Leveraging blockchain into the smart city infrastructure can addresses operational inefficiencies. Smart Cities can make use of this technology to enhance the quality of life amongst its citizens. The quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation, and utilities can be effectively managed using blockchain. Read on to find out how!
How would Blockchain benefit Smart Cities?
Modernization of cities is largely due to the evolution of IoT (Internet of Things) technology, thanks to the connected devices. IoT systems require databases to store data. This data is analyzed and the analysis results also require databases for storage. Blockchain brings with it the possibility of storing all the information in a single secure database. Participants must have permission to view, change or transact the information they need from the database.
Using Blockchain, Smart Cities can monitor the behaviour of the people and reward the ones who make better choices. For example, if a person uses public transport to commute regularly, he/she can be rewarded for their good behavior by discounts on utility bills or free public transport for a limited time. This would result in motivating people to make better choices that would eventually improve the quality of life. Citizen participation in public programs would dramatically improve when blockchain is used. This is especially true when it comes to voting systems.
In the healthcare industry, blockchain can improve the efficiency of drug supply chains. with blockchain, there would be no room for illegal use of medicines as you can monitor the movement of goods in real-time. In a hospital, numerous transactions occur regularly such as patient registry, treatments undertaken, payments, medical history etc. Each patient can be associated with their electronic ledger and it is shared by multiple parties eliminating discrepancies in data even when they may obtain treatment at a different hospital.
Blockchain also has kick-ass applications in the educational sector. Common ledgers or databases shared between all stakeholders in the education field, while being secured by a blockchain would ensure the authenticity of each diploma awarded to a student and the educational course pursued by them.
The world is in dire need of a more transparent producer-to-consumer system. Using blockchain, authorized entities could create a food supply chain containing entirely verified information that is updated regularly in the database for consumers to view.
In case a sanitary problem occurs, blockchain would make it easier to find the exact location of the problem and it can be rectified immediately. A flaw in the process could be easily identified by supervisory authorities and the reasons for this flaw could be found out by using blockchain.
Blockchain can help people with employment too. Blockchain provides a secure and transparent registry containing a record of every citizens’ past experiences, skills and educational qualifications in order to facilitate job searches. This information is of course highly secure and it will be provided only to authorized employers.
Is Blockchain 100% Secure?
Data stored in a blockchain is almost non-editable by unauthorized people, although the data blocks are available on a public database. A transaction cannot be traced easily as a blockchain is stored in a cluster of computers using peer to peer networking. Since blockchain is very secure and transparent, it is called the future of cybersecurity. Blockchain allows transactions to be done directly between two parties without involving a middleman. This means the operations of a bank will be replaced by blockchain. If blockchain is capable of making banks redundant, imagine how much secure it would be!
Wrapping it up,
Blockchain in smart cities is not fictional or futuristic. The backend works are already going on. At present, there are over a dozen smart cities spread across the globe, and already less than a quarter of these cities have an active large scale implementation of the use blockchain a.k.a distributed ledger technology. The city of Dubai, UAE has already announced its plans to become the first blockchain-powered smart city by 2021. The future looks like a great place for this revolutionary concept.