Blockchain, the decentralized and open-ledger system that can record multiple transactions on a permanent basis, is about to become the best because the cities of the world are moving towards digitization. It presents the kind of urban revolution that cities have not seen since the wastewater transported by water has improved the livability of the city.
These "smart cities" of the future, big and small, will compete for being the most interconnected and most attractive places for high-tech talents and investments. From Orlando to San Antonio and from Boston to Seattle, the race is under way.
Large telephone companies such as AT & T and Verizon want to connect cities for their 5G and universal WiFi, involving new "short towers".
Smart cities are cities that are preparing for the future. The infrastructure that needs to be developed and implemented includes:
- An electric network that instantly detects and manages the demand; which allows bidirectional flows, as from an auto-generator in the public network or from a customer who only wants green energy.
- 5G technology that will work on any device and will take the city's communications to a new level, how to know the location of each ambulance and which traffic lights must change to accelerate without going through a bombardment of pyrotechnic vehicles to the same destination.
- The traffic lights are dimmed when there is no one on a street, or street lighting that fades when the moon is full or when there is no traffic.
- Computer-connected monitors can identify potential failures in old water or sewer pipes.
Holding everything together – the curtain of intelligent cities – will be blockchain. It will be the recording system that will tell if electricity is flowing from a community production facility (like a solar farm) and how it is mixing with the generators of the public utility company to the amount of energy flowing to the lights of the streets.
Blockchain is set to become the ledger of everything from billing for local taxes to keeping track of parking tickets. It will also be a treasure trove of future planning data.
Blockchain is associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This is because it is not only the system on which those cryptocurrencies are based, but it is also a powerful tool with many uses far beyond. The original bitcoin developer, believed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, used the blockchain to ensure the integrity of the new money.
Some blockchain enthusiasts, including many in large technology companies like IBM, believe and have often claimed that it can be a bigger disruptor of the Internet. They are passionate about the future blockchain, as well as the large financial institutions in which the use will speed up and verify transactions.
Others, working in the trenches to realize the blockchain revolution, are more cautious. Chris Peoples, founder and managing partner of the Baltimore-based innovation strategy firm PP & A, says that we must be careful about what is being said. Blockchain, he says, "promises to open new avenues of value for both organizations and for the common good, but with technology still undergoing rapid development in the areas of speed, consensus and scalability, it will require constant support from of industry and government to reach its full potential. "
The bright side of the smart city: cities will become more livable, more manageable and the quality of life for everyone should improve. The downside: all sensors and electronic surveillance could represent a new and very real threat to privacy.
There are also questions about how much of the brave new urban world we want to have. The supporters of smart cities believe that the moment will come when, with autonomous vehicles, the family car will disappear in favor of driverless vehicles that share the road. An app on your phone will summon one and you will start, probably reading your e-mails while driving safely, thanks to artificial intelligence and blockchain, to your destination. Could be. People did not abandon their cars for public transport.
My opinion is that people want their stuff in a car – the old newspapers, the box of peppermints and the fury dice hanging in the mirror. A future enabled to blockchain smart cities is dandy if we can keep our humanity inefficient.
We are not all anxious to be efficient in everything. Let's treasure a little confusing. I hope we can teach it to computers and put them in an immutable blockchain.
Photo: The San Antonio Children's Hospital, San Antonio, United States by Dan Gold onwards Unsplash