Since IBM put forward the concept of a “Smart City” in 2009, many countries and regions around the world have started constructing smart cities. Until 2018, the number of smart cities being built or under construction have reached 1,000 globally. China, is ranked first with 500 pilot cities. Smart city use emerging technologies to reshape cities constantly, which can improve both the living standards and the operation efficiency of urban public management. The development of modern technology has raised people’s urgent awareness of achieving higher living standards, and has also accelerated the pace of the implementation of smart cities.
However, the development of smart cities is also subject to considerable challenges:
1) The construction of public information infrastructure is imperfect, resulting in huge problems in coordination among all parties;
2) The phenomenon of isolated data islands is common, which makes it difficult to share data among various departments;
3) There is a risk in data security, so the software system is difficult to run smoothly;
4) Besides, information and rules are not transparent so that operating costs are extremely high.
The inherent characteristics of blockchain can help remove the obstacles on the road of the construction of smart cities:
1) The distributed storage system of blockchain can reduce the impact of centralized storage of data and make up for the defects caused by imperfect information infrastructure.
2) At the same time, it can break the isolated data island so that all participants are able to share data.
3) The unalterable and traceable features of blockchain can prevent data from being tampered and help the system run smoothly. Besides, information becomes more reliable. Collaboration efficiency is improved as well.
4) Smart contracts also make rules more transparent which brings a breakthrough for the landing of smart cities from various aspects.
In recent years, blockchain has been increasingly penetrating into many aspects of smart cities. It impacts a number of typical fields of smart city such as smart healthcare, smart transportation, smart energy, smart government, smart tourism, smart education and smart environmental protection, etc. Next, we will take the smart healthcare and smart transportation for examples.
With the intensification of the world’s aging phenomenon, smart healthcare has a broader market prospect. The introduction of the blockchain technology has following advantages:
1)Strengthen the supervision and transparency of the drug supply chain, help trace the origin of drugs and ensure quality of drugs.
2)Strengthen medical data communication, promote data sharing, and protect medical data privacy.
3)Use smart contract technology to formulate medical insurance claims rules and to improve transparency of insurance and efficiency of claims.
Case 1: The Healthcare Department of Alibaba in Changzhou city Implements “Medical Union + Blockchain”Project
In August 2017, Alibaba Healthcare announced the cooperation with ChangZhou City to implement “Medical Union+Blockchain” pilot project. Applying the blockchain technology to the fundamental technical architecture system of Changzhou Medical Union, is expected to solve the “information silos” and data privacy security problems that have long troubled medical institutions
The plan has been implemented in Wujin Hospital and Zhenglu Town Health Center of Changzhou city and will be gradually promoted to all third-level hospitals and primary hospitals in the Tiannning District Medical Association of Changzhou city, which can help to deploy complete medical information network.
Case 2: The Medicine Traceability Platform named Jingdong Zhizhen Chain
The Medicine Traceability Platform named Jingdong Zhizhen Chain is based on blockchain launched by JDDigits. It provides smart vaccine management by hardware and software solutions to ensure the transparent flow of information from the production, circulation to use of the vaccine. It records each vaccine data and traces vaccine source to ensure the quality and safety of vaccine in order to make the end user to inject safe vaccine. Therefore, the consumers’ medical safety can be protected.
In the field of smart transportation, various countries’ government have actively promoted the construction of a modern transportation system, especially the construction of transportation intelligence and information, since the 21st century
The combination of blockchain and smart transportation has following advantages:
1) Help car-sharing data store on chain and solve the crisis of trust and collaboration among participants in the car sharing industry.
2) Introduce blockchain technology into the traditional carbon emission record system to promote energy saving and emission reduction.
3) Help optimize the intelligent transportation network and improve the efficiency of social operations.
Case 1: The transportation chain of China
The Communication Information Center of the Ministry of Transport in China and other five companies established and launched the China Transportation Chain. At present, the technology has been implemented in Wuxi City, and has been praised by traveling vehicles and pedestrians, which has greatly eased road traffic congestion. In addition, relevant departments are exploring the application of blockchain technology in other transportation business areas actively, such as the construction of urban parking facilities, the penalties for traffic violations, and the guarantee of information security of the Internet of Vehicles.
Case 2: Carbon Bank (Automobile) Public Chain Platform Based on Blockchain Technology
On September 6th, 2018, BYD announced that it would cooperate with DNV GL and VeChain to develop the construction of a carbon bank public chain platform based on blockchain technology. VeChain already has a complete automotive lifecycle management solution and is good at handling data problems in the automotive industry. DNV GL is responsible for the design certification process. At the same time, BYD is building a car carbon bank integration platform, which integrates information of cars, large passenger cars, and other vehicles for on-chain storage.
Apart from industries, some cities have already taken a leadership in the construction of “Blockchain + Smart City”.
With the great support of Chinese government, Xiongan is a smart city born with blockchain gene. Through continuous construction and development, Xiongan has made use of blockchain to actively empower urban development in fields such as house renting, environmental protection, government affairs and project fund management. All of these has achieved excellent results.
The Internet era has witnessed the rise of Hangzhou. As a city far ahead in the field of informatization, Hangzhou is also one of the cities in China that have laid out blockchain-related industries in the first beginning. In Hangzhou, “Blockchain + Smart City”model has been applied in various fields, such as the implementation in judicial adjudication, the corporation between BSN and City Brain of Hangzhou, the service of blockchain medical electronic bills, etc. Thanks to blockchain, Hangzhou is expected to continue leading the way of smart city in China.
Finally, the development of cities cannot be separated from the construction of infrastructure. Blockchain and technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Internet and Internet of Things are helping each other to build smart cities which integrates industry with city. In the future, blockchain will be combined with other technologies to seek further breakthrough and continue to push forward the development of smart cities.
About Huobi Research
Huobi Research was established in April 2016, and has been committed to comprehensively expanding research and exploration in various fields of blockchain since March 2018.
Huobi Research takes the pan-regional blockchain field as main research object, aiming at accelerating the research and development of blockchain technology, as well as promoting the application of the blockchain industry and promoting the ecological optimization of the blockchain industry. It mainly studies industry trends, technology path, application innovation and model exploration in the blockchain field. Huobi Research will carry out extensive and in-depth cooperation with governments, enterprises, universities and other institutions through various forms to build a research platform covering the complete industrial chain of the blockchain in accordance with the principles of public welfare, rigorousness and innovation, to provide industry professionals with a solid theoretical basis and trend judgment to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the entire blockchain industry.
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