The white paper Blockchain in Cities: Restoring trust and Transparency in digital Transactions has been produced by National League of Cities (NLC). The main scope of the document is to provide an overview regarding the opportunities arising for smart cities and governance, as well as existing challenges and barriers. Some key insights for city leaders are also provided at the end of this report.
One of the main things that this white paper wants to point out is that cities stand to benefit not just from increased efficiencies with lower costs, but also from greater economic integration and participation. This technology may be a solution to low trust in government phenomena in cities, that could help enhancing public participation and boot citizens’ engagement. Moreover, cities have the potential to realize greater efficiency thanks to this technology, as well as other benefits, including streamlined coordination across departments and between public and private entities.
Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize public service delivery and operation, making it more efficient, flexible and transparent.
Some key finding of the report are summarized in the following list:
- Use blockchain to expand digital inclusion initiatives and help support the un- and under-banked.
- Explore options for using blockchain in governance, procurement processes and business licensing.
- Consider blockchain to increase civic engagement and offer additional pathways for voting.
- Investigate how blockchain can help strengthen local alternative energy initiatives.
- Prepare for the utilization of blockchain for digital transportation infrastructure needs as autonomous vehicles are more broadly deployed in cities.
- While the benefits could be manifold, be cognizant of the potential for negative externalities that will need to be addressed and make sure that cities give themselves time to absorb each impact of introducing this technology.
- Pay attention to what other cities have experienced and learned when it comes to blockchain.
- And above all, keep an open mind and be open to change. This new technology might just bring some unexpected yet very welcome benefits to your city and its residents.
You can read the full report here.