The future will almost certainly be more urban, and urban areas are going to have to get a lot greener to keep ahead of climate change. Many cities in the developing world are growing at a startling rate, but cities of all kinds will have to adopt sustainable practices. The need to do so is urgent, as incremental progress over a long time horizon will inevitably fall short.
Blockchain can help cities become sustainable more quickly.
Consider sustainable smart mobility solutions. By making them more efficient, blockchain can make them more popular. Many city bike programs, such as Paris’s Vélib and New York City’s Citibike, have made urban life less congested, less polluted, quieter, and greener. These enterprises now accept payment via cards and apps, but blockchain-based payment solutions promise to be faster, simpler, and more secure, encouraging usage.
Blockchain payments will also likely drive adoption of similar sharing and mobility-as-a-service solutions that offer alternatives to automobile use and ownership. Blockchain can support legacy urban transportation systems as well, helping to make fare calculation and collection more efficient. Transit systems in many major cities have already switched over to touchless digital payment systems. By removing payment processors from the equation entirely, blockchain can make these systems cheaper.
Blockchain can also flawlessly record maintenance and accident data on buses, railcars, and other rolling stock, making upkeep economical and efficient.
The automobile isn’t going to vanish from city streets anytime soon—and even if it does, trucks will still be a necessary presence in urban neighborhoods. But blockchain can make it easier to live with these vehicles, in part by serving as a repository for driver safety and accident data. That data can then serve as the basis for individualized insurance policies, making insurance more responsive and less costly for everybody.