The agiotage around blockchain technology has reduced dramatically. But now it’s time for technology adoption in real life. Imagine a city, where payments for goods and services, data exchange between municipal institutions, work of transport and infrastructure projects — almost everything in based on blockchain technology. You think such kind of mass adoption looks like a fairy tale? But this is actually a reality or something that will be a reality in the very near future.
I decided to create a short list of the most promising smart city projects based on blockchain, which are already running or are about to be launched. The list includes those projects that are not just developing a technological solution that will be applicable in a particular area of work of the smart city, but projects that are already developing or will be developed in concrete countries and cities.
Melaka Straits City — Melaka, Malaysia
Melaka is one of the popular tourists’ destinations, that are visiting Malaysia. Here 835 acres of undeveloped Malacca will turn into a real blockchain city called Melaka Straits City. The project was launched by SWT International and China Wu Yi and is supported by the Chinese government. The architecture of the future city was designed by CPG Corporation, the company known for the development of the Parliament House in Singapore and Changi Airport.
The project is planned to become the first blockchain-city in Asia. The project officials state, that blockchain technology innovation will be used to improve fundamental infrastructure condition, integrate with city statistical data, highly safe and secured management of a model city to stimulate traditional tourism development.
The basis of the blockchain technology in the Melaka Straits City will be DMI platform with DMI coin. It will mainly be used in payment of government-based services in the city. At the very beginning, it is planned to invest almost $120 mln. One of the project’s partner is China Wu Yi, subsidiary of Fujian Construction Engineering, one of the largest construction holding in the world.
Blockchains — Nevada, U.S.
Blockchain LLC is the company owned by famous cryptocurrency millionaire Jeffrey Berns that have bought 67,000 acres of land in the Nevada desert. The aim is to build here absolutely new smart city.
According to the project officials, there has to be 1,000-acre tech campus, the world’s first esports stadium, a nuclear-hardened bunker to safeguard digital assets, and fully functioning smart city, powered by blockchain technology.
It is said that Berns, the author of the project, has already spent between $250 million and $300 million. Still, after the announcement, the project was criticized by several media outlets and crypto influencers, because there was no proof that investment was made, plus the project is too ambitious.
Dongdaemun Fashion Town — Seoul, South Korea
Last year blockchain startup Waltonchain and Dongdaemun Fashion Town Tourism Zone reached a technical agreement regarding the application of the blockchain technology in the fields of retail distribution, logistics, store management, and customer service.
Dongdaemun gathers enterprises in industries including fabrics, garment accessories, production and processing, fashion design, retail distribution. Products range from small fashion accessories to ginseng, utensils, clothing, toys, jewelry, etc. There are more than 35,000 stores in the fashion town.
Authors of the project believe, that blockchain technology will greatly optimize the logistics and retail system of the whole town.
Smart Dubai — Dubai, UAE
This would be incorrect not to mention Dubai in the short-list. If in the previous cases we were talking about projects, launched by a business or rich people, who wants to create blockchain city, in this case, the initiator is the government. Dubai officials have launched Smart Dubai, the program is a public-private partnership to create a smart city with a seamless experience for its citizens and an efficient city government powered by blockchain technology by 2020.
To do so, they have launched the Global Blockchain Challenge, which is a blockchain-related competition geared to finding the most innovative blockchain startups from across the world and to entice them to operate in Dubai.
The problem is that, apart from loud statements from the authorities, we still don’t see cases of using blockchain technologies at least in some areas of city management. You must admit that this is strange, taking into the account that already in the next year Dubai fully wants to switch to the blockchain.
City Coin — Liberstad, Norway
It is difficult to imagine this, but already now, in April 2019, there is a place in the world, a whole city that has completely switched to its own cryptocurrency. The name of this city is Liberstad, Norway. For sure, you’ve may heart that some town in the world started to adopt some cryptocurrency. But Liberstad claims to be the first smart city to officially adopt a cryptocurrency as its sole medium of exchange for the payment of city services and workers’ wages.
The town official currency is named City Coin. This crypto is based on City Chain, a smart city platform that enables the design, implementation, and use of next-generation services for smart cities and their inhabitants. The issuer of City Coin, City Chain Labs, sais that the platform gives existing and emerging cities like Liberstad the opportunity to build and offer services conducted on a private, internal and voluntary basis.
City Coin is available for trading on exchange and Liberstad’s Block Exchange and more than 100 land plots have already been sold within the city.