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How cities can prepare for blockchain

What: “Blockchain in Cities: Restoring Trust and Transparency in Digital Transactions,” a report from the National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions

Why:  The security and transparency of blockchain technology can help cities lower costs, improve efficiency and create a framework that builds trust and accelerates access and accountability.

Findings: Although blockchain technology is still maturing, cities can guide the development process by incorporating the needs and concerns of local governments. Applications in digital inclusion, cryptocurrency, transportation and the energy sector can improve how local governments operate.

The report lays out seven ways that cities can take advantage of blockchain now:

  1. Expand digital inclusion initiatives to support those without bank accounts, fixed addresses or government-issued IDs.
  2. Explore options for using blockchain in governance, procurement processes and licensing.
  3. Consider using blockchain to increase civic engagement and offer additional pathways for voting.
  4. Investigate how the technology can strengthen local energy alternatives.
  5. Prepare to use blockchain in digital transportation infrastructure as autonomous vehicles are more broadly deployed.
  6. Address the negative impressions of blockchain and make time to absorb the impact of introducing this technology.
  7. Pay attention to what other cities have learned, keep an open mind and be open to making changes.

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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