Flying cars and assistance bots, voice control, and reusable energy resources, maybe no pollution? Smart City expectations and reality in the BTCMEX Blog.

What comes to your mind when somebody says Smart City? The first Google search image results show megapolis with a network of interconnected locations. According to the common definition, a Smart City is an urban area that uses different types of electronic Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to collect data and use the insights to manage assets, resources, and services efficiently.

The city of the future is smart. It’s supposed to regulate traffic, save energy, fight crime, and solve a much larger number of challenges. Smart street lights would reduce the electricity usage, driverless cars prevent accidents, drones deliver goods and even morning coffee. Sounds fantastic, what has already be done? And how blockchain technology is assisting to build the urban areas of our dreams?

Several examples of smartness implemented already feature Virtual and Augmented Reality training programs and assistance in emergency situations. Modern technologies can even detect and prevent damage before it occurs in many manufacturing industries. 

One more technology that makes Smart City possible is 5G – the engine for the Internet of Things, that empowers the interconnection. Sensors are able to collect, share, and analyze data. The tech can be implemented in transportation, housing, administrative, education, healthcare, energy, and other infrastructures and urban systems.

After collecting big data, it needs to be prepared and analyzed. The devices then assessed to find solutions for the citizens. During the recent coronavirus outbreak, the information and location of infected citizens were put on the blockchain and shared publicly, which created a COVID-19 map. To make the technology work efficiently, data centers need to have all the citizens data, but who ensures that the private data is safe? And who has access to it? Different solutions exist.

There’s no protection from the data being collected. But the same data provides the basis for implementing and controlling the city system. Current urban development systems lack the technical expertise to sort and analyze data. Many cities cooperate with big tech companies.

Another threat that arises here is all the city services are connected to the Internet and can potentially be hacked. Cybersecurity is crucial for Smart Cities, as cyber terrorists can go even further. Online and digital privacy became an issue to be concerned about.

Smart City is for sure the breakthrough that is reshaping the future, with digital assets and blockchain being an integrated part of it. Considering all the benefits and risks the balance is yet to be found.