An interesting viewpoint from Shiv Aggarwal, the CEO of MyEarthId.org, working towards simplifying the process of validation of Human Identity, through the use of a Universal Identity Mechanism, and reducing Identity Thefts and Frauds, through the power of Cryptography Technology. Shiv is a technology entrepreneur and has co-founded many technology companies, providing products and services in niche technology areas. Shiv has been actively working in Blockchain and cryptocurrencies industry for the past four years. He has in-depth knowledge of underlying technologies of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and the associated aspects, like Mining, Coin/Tokens launches, Exchanges & Wallets and investments in general. Shiv has more than 14 years of IT Industry experience, having worked with global brands like Bank of America, Cathay Pacific, Lloyds of London, Unilever.
Here is what Shiv has to say about smart cities and why they can make a difference:
Smart Cities are a major revolution focussing on solving the problem of scarcity of resources, caused by the explosion of human population. Smart cities rely on latest technology innovations, to optimise the sourcing and consumption of resources, as well as the provision of essential services, including housing, energy, education and law enforcement. The success of any smart city lies on how well these services are integrated together and incorporated seamlessly into the daily lives of the residents, thereby ensuring efficient utilisation of the given assets and resources. However, this entails a massive amount of data flowing through the information and communication systems, running at the heart of a smart city. This introduces a more significant challenge to the security and transparency of the personal, financial and confidential information. Can Blockchain be a solution here?
Blockchain is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which allows a peer-to-peer exchange of information and value, in an immutable and auditable way, through use of cryptography. Blockchain has already found many applications across sectors, including Banking, Health, Government and Public. Let us take a look at some of the initiatives across industries, using blockchain technology.
- Healthcare – Storage of health records on the blockchain, allows sharing of the medical history of patients with health practitioners across the globe, securely and seamlessly.
- Identity – Latest Decentralised Identity Management systems use blockchain to provide a secure mechanism for storing and validating user identities, thereby reducing identity thefts and related frauds.
- Microfinance – DLT has changed the way we exchange monetary value with each other, around the world. Many projects are working on innovating Remittance, P2P lending and Crowd-funding using blockchain. Some banking organisations have already started using Ripple for global payments.
- Ownership – Smart Contracts allow ownership of real estate, intellectual property or any object of value, to be digitised and stored on blockchain for avoiding forgery and thefts. They also allow for shared ownership; wherein multiple investors can own an apartment or expensive art.
- eCommerce – Web platforms focussed on local merchants will disrupt the extractive economy controlled by e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart, and will let people buy locally produced goods and services, thereby supporting local economies.
- Government – Smart contracts can be used for digitising citizen rights and as a transparent voting platform during elections.
- Sovereignty – The fundamental idea behind blockchain revolution is to give the power back to people, by reducing the need for central trust broking authorities, like banks. This will allow freedom of movement across borders, without loss of financial assets and even employment.
- Social Platforms – Decentralised social platforms using blockchain, let you take control of your data and monetise it also.
- Tax – Blockchain is already being piloted in some parts of the world for overhauling the respective taxation systems.
- Transportation – Use of blockchain in ridesharing platforms would disrupt the disruptors, Uber and Lyft, and will make these platforms peer-to-peer, enabling a more distributed economy.
The power of blockchain and its potential applications, make it a very suitable and viable solution for information and communication systems in smart cities.
A famous quote by R. Buckminster Fuller, a noted American author, says “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Blockchain is a revolution with a potential of making existing models, across industries, obsolete.
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