Smart cities? They will be impossible without the use of decentralized technologies

Smart cities? They will be impossible without the use of decentralized technologies

The main objective of a smart city is to optimize the functions of the city and promote economic growth by leveraging cutting-edge technologies. Smart cities will seek to increase operational efficiency, achieve sustainability goals such as energy efficiency and the management of scarce resources and, above all, improve the lives of citizens inside. To do this they will be built on a completely new financial technological infrastructure that will support the flow of micropayments on financial "plumbing", similar to that of other essential utilities (water, energy, data, etc.) flowing on pipes, cables and fibers.

Accurate and reliable data collection from connected devices is, therefore, crucial, and the best way to get the active participation of city residents to provide this data from their devices is to incentivize them to do so . Clearly, there are some fundamental concepts that also need to be put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens such as digital identity, personal privacy and consent to data sharing, and which will be the subject of another article. br>
A smart city has a responsibility to its citizens to operate and report on sustainable infrastructure and to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its design. The implementation of incentive schemes to encourage positive behavior will probably play an essential role in addressing the most important environmental, social and economic issues that citizens within those cities have to face.

Smart cities with fully integrated services are still a few years away from us, but the use of incentive systems based on the ability to make micropayments could accelerate the creation of smart cities. A current example of this is the proliferation of COVID-19 check-in and tracking processes. We are currently not rewarded for signing up to public bodies, but perhaps there would be a higher level of compliance if we were. Any smart city initiative that requires data collection for processing by city analytics, responding with community behavioral nudging via a reward, would benefit from a payments infrastructure that supports micropayments.

For this reason, successful smart cities will put incentives at the center of the project. But the smart cities of the future will also have to address issues related to privacy and data security, otherwise participation will be hampered by citizen concerns about how their data is used when they adopt the technology.

Therefore, they will be needed incentive systems focused on consensus and trust building to drive public approval of smart cities. When implemented correctly, with citizen privacy built into systems design, behavioral stimulation can ensure a smooth and safe city.

Smart cities (and their citizens) will rely on integrated sensors and devices in their fabric. The connected internet of things (IoT) devices will be the eyes, ears and hands of the city, automatically collecting data on everything from traffic movement to environmental factors, weather, supply chain monitoring and management of the resources of the city. city ​​(water, energy, waste, etc.). This data will be used to inform and adapt policy and in real-time decision making to allow city systems to run smoothly.

With the implementation of new high-speed networks such as 5G or LoRaWAN and As the use of connected IoT devices for essential services and utilities grows, the need for automated and device-to-device micropayments will also increase. Use cases include electric vehicles that automatically pay tolls as they pass, automatic payment on delivery by drones or an IoT network gateway provider paid for by the devices they are enabling within their range. The primary requirement for these device mesh networks is scale, speed and security, as well as delegated authority backed by digital identity.

Current payment infrastructure cannot support tens of billions of devices IoT always connected. The underlying infrastructure, which connects various data points, devices and stakeholders together, therefore holds the key to success for incentive systems and the overall integrity of the smart city.

If we consider that smart cities require a new type of financial "plumbing" that supports all of their services and are more likely to be based on distributed ledgers, then we need to consider the type of digital currency they will use as public DLTs operating on native token economies or cryptocurrencies. These may sound like futuristic thoughts, but smart cities have already been planned and designed around the world and they all need to consider sustainability in their designs.

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