Once we stop associating Blockchain with cryptocurrency only, we will see the nearly unlimited potential of the distributed ledger. Multiple countries are developing innovative projects intended to create a comfortable ambiance for citizens, and make a large range of processes easier, cheaper, faster and erase the need for uncountable intermediaries.
Now, how about a small quiz?
1. What is transparent and cannot be forged? – Elections? We wish. Yet, the correct answer is Blockchain, and potentially Blockchain can help elections become so. The first project has been implemented in Switzerland, but for now only on the local level.
2. Next question: what’s the most annoying part of driving? Parking. Downtown. At rush hour. And here comes Blockchain: smart interaction between your car and parking machines can facilitate your daily rotation around the city center.
3. What can’t you live without but also have to pay for for the rest of your life? Housing and Communal Services. Lately, diverse IT solutions have been developed in this sector, but nothing can make it as fast as Blockchain does.
As for specific examples, a German power company RWE is working on a net of Ethereum-based charging stations for electric cars. The battery is controlled by drivers in a mobile app where they must check in, top up their accounts in euro, choose a charging station, confirm payment and receive a check via email. Meanwhile, Blockchain registers the power consumption and assures the payment. China, specifically the province of Xinjiang is also very excited about implementing Blockchain in everyday life. A Chinese carmaker Wanxiang is investing in smart cities by developing a technology to track condition and consumption of car batteries. Batteries will be rented out and controlled via blockchain decreasing the cost of car ownership for citizens.
Car and house sharing giants Uber and AirBnB have already turned the market upside down and keep controlling the prices. Taxi drivers and property owners now must play on their rules, but Blockchain can solve this problem, too. For instance, a blockchain-based car sharing platform Arcade City allows users to purchase tokens and use them to pay for rides in advance. If there’s a driver around interested in the offered price, he picks the passenger up. After the ride is completed, the driver receives the money.
Both New York and an Australian city Perth are developing a system to allow citizens to share the power they produced using sun batteries, and no middle men are needed. Another American city Austin introduced a startup to help thousands of homeless people.
The obscure presence of the distributed ledger solutions in nearly every sphere of our life make us imagine ourselves in a science fictional reality described in books and cartoons. However, these ambitious and futuristic projects face multiple difficulties being placed in the slightly outdated reality. Governments appear to be not ready for the innovations. As a primary issue – smart contracts are barely legal and still remain very questionable as a phenomenon.
Optimistic specialists predict that 600 cities will go “smart”, meaning adopt the technology in as many sectors as possible in the next few years.