Here’s What a Blockchain-Powered Smart City Would Look
1,382 reads
1,382 reads

Here’s What a Blockchain-Powered Smart City Would Look like.

by Joe StanleyApril 25th, 2018
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

The last few decades has seen the creation of <strong>smart apps, smart phones</strong>, and even <strong>smart toilets</strong>.

Companies Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
Mention Thumbnail

Coins Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
Mention Thumbnail
featured image - Here’s What a Blockchain-Powered Smart City Would Look like.
Joe Stanley HackerNoon profile picture

How Cyber Vein Can Make That Happen

The last few decades has seen the creation of smart apps, smart phones, and even smart toilets.

The demand is undoubtedly propelled by the tech-savvy millennials, who increasingly expect a new level of “interactiveness” from the tech they own.

As it is is with every technology - backed by a billion dollar company - “smart” features are ingrained in newer devices, with AI and deep learning coming closer and closer to becoming a part of our consciousness.

The latest such gadgets are smart home assistants, which can tell you about your day, your flights, your cafes, your recipes, and even play any music you tell it to.

Google Home “Donuts”

But behind all these smart micro-developments, is something larger getting created, a smart macro development, engulfing and pertaining to entire cities.

A Smart City.

Cities as we know them function in a not-so-efficient manner.

There’s thousands of processes, ethical considerations, and legal abidements that govern over every action taken or a paper signed.

Take the example of a driving license.

Before it is issued, you pass a test, you drive, then you wait. You wait while the government checks any legal proceedings against you, your criminal background, your medical background.

Think of all this as various files.

Now think of the files in various cupboards.

Oh, the cupboards are in different offices in different locations.

Yes — the process is slow and inefficient. Takes 3 months at times.

Most people reading this may not face this issue. A DL can be as easy as 1–2–3

But what about those in impoverished regions?

Where the internet’s slow and the administrative set-ups are poor.

Countries in Africa, states in India.

You are pretty lucky after all.

But, what if we link literally everything together. Put in a huge smart contract, and make the process for the underprivileged as easy as 1–2–3 as well?

Before we move further, let’s shed some light over what a smart contract really is.

Actually, this has been a long time coming.

A long time ago, like the 90’s long ago.

A group of developers figured out they could code a “block”, which carries any data you’d input in it.

This could be confirmed by others on the node network, and hence, another block would could be added to it to approve the previous transaction and continue with the network.

Literally a “block chain.”

One thing to note here is that this could — in theory — be used to exchange value without needing a third party.

It’s like sitting with a group of friends and passing a piece of candy.

You pass candy when you want to. To whoever you want to. There’s no government or bank which restricts you from passing around more than one candy. No regulatory body to charge you obscene fees for passing that candy.

And since you are in a group, every one can confirm you have passed the candy, and nothing other candy.

A few years later, a bro called Nick Szabo created something on the block chain, and called it a smart-contract.

While humans immediately conjure up images of a lawyer handling out a huge file of signed papers, a smart contract is actually kind of a misnomer.

Its not strictly speaking a legal contract. Its more like a slurpee machine.

A slurpee machine is simple, you put in some $$, and the machine pours out the brain freezing juice. Same quantity for everyone everytime, irrespective of race, colour, caste, species, planet.

It justs knows that $$ = 190 ml of Slurpee.

Right there, is a contract.

But, some dude could break into the shop at night, and tamper with the code so now the machine gives out 190 ml of Slurpee for the same $$.

And if the dude is the shop owner, he only needs to sell 19 Slurpees to make as much money as a guy selling 20 Slurpees down the road.

In short, customers won’t walk around with a weighting scale to measure 10 ml of difference in this Slurpee shop and another Slurpee shop.

And now, take your mind away from a small corner of a small Slurpee shop in a small locality. To thinking about the various automated processes running all around us. All centralized in nature, open to fraud and manipulations.

“Damn, the world can be really fraudulent.”

Happy realization.

But — what if the Slurpee had Nick Szabo’s smart contract in the design — along with the blockchain protocol — requiring the confirmation of ALL Slurpee owners in the area ?

Something which can’t be altered, with all Slurpees the shop has ever sold duly recorded in the public network.

Also — something that doesn’t require the bank or even the shop owner to tell you its “safe to use”, and ask you to trust their word?

Not so fraudulent now innit ?

A system with all the rules written down in the code, a system which doesn’t require big brother watching over your shoulder every step you take.

A system which is easy as 1–2–3, in which you simply fulfill all requirements and POP! — comes out your Slurpee, or even the Driver’s License ?

Let’s return to the DL scenario.

Here’s how a smart-contract issued DL might work -

You simply give a written test and drive a car around a field.


In the mean time— while you were driving — the smart contract is meticulously accessing its blockchain. Referring to all public databases.

Like clockwork, the contract is looking up your medical history, your crime history, your drug usage, your citizenship details, and ticking out everything it deems fit according to its in-built contract.

And then, when you finally complete a round, the code has it all ready. Literally all your life detailed on a small block of code.

And oh, there were IoT systems in the car governing every acceleration, or brake you made. Any rule you broke. All these things were fed back to the smart contract for consideration.

You leave the car, you walk, and you reach the DL vending machine. It says “Good to Go”, you put in some $$, and out POPS! your driving license.


You take your license and walk out.

At this point, let’s really ask ourselves what a city is.

An estimated 50% of the world lives in a “city”, but is it anything more than a collection of buildings, roads, and weird rules?

Looking at a city with a historical definition, cities are groups of economies and social beings that contribute to each other’s well-beings.

Over time, the definition grew to include logistical, administrative, organizational, and elaborate social systems.

To people like me — I see data bases, lots of databases !

Somewhere down that line, the databases grew wide apart from each other, and came a huge layer of bureaucratic terms in the middle.

In short — a layer of inefficiency, and bribes.

Imagine if that layer was replaced by a self-governing platform.

Upon which all city databases were integrated.

Smart contracts checking each input and confirming each output.

A Smart (contract) city.

For me, the logical next step was to check if my million dollar ICO idea was already worked upon by someone.

After a day of Google, and many unsatisfactory results, I stumbled upon a shining light.

A small team working out of Shenzhen, China, going by CyberVein.

Intrigued, I dug more into the project, to see if they could actually made my blockchain DL dream a reality.

Perhaps they could be the firm that takes the world to smart contract city?

(Before I start my findings, let’s make clear — I do HODL CyberVein tokens, but have no affiliation with the project. Yet.)

Ignite engines—

CyberVein takes its name from Cyber — “Meat” like space of data, that circles itself all around our Earth fabric.

You’ve heard about space-time, but is not Earth not a giant data fabric anyway?

Numerous databases every meter around you, countless sensors in the appliances next to you, in front of you, even in your hand.


Quite simply put, you don’t own of your own inputs.

You remember that page you agree to just before installing an app, or opening a social media account?

It basically gives the organization to have rights over ALL data you input.

TBH — a search engine knows about you better than your own wife. And I saw with experience.

So basically, you gave away bits of yourself to a centralized body for free :(

And you can’t really do anything about it cause you agreed to proceed.

But CyberVein thinks they can!

The guys at CV have made in theory a giant running machine — decentralized — that tokenizes all your data, and allows companies to use it when they deem fit, and when they PAY for it.

You hear me ? Each time a company uses your data, the smart contract makes sure they PAY you.

But that’s just ONE SMALL USECASE of this project.

Like, I said before, we are only igniting.

Press The Gas Pedal —

Undoubtedly, there’s a huge question mark when it comes to organizing all that vast data and asserting what of it belongs to whom.

And in a Smart City, data will be the new oil. Hence, everyone has to ABSOLUTELY sure about what they own.

Moreover, the tokenized data is extremely confidential. There’s no way it should ever reach wrong hands.

While the past proves that blockchain systems are indeed trustworthy, unshakable, and depend on several systems, nodes, which rely upon each other and store complex data in a simple database.

But dealing with several such databases — what CyberVein aims to achieve — requires extra levels of security measures.

And the team certainly delivers, offering their own improved DAG architecture with a built-in smart contract, enabling any own to store information, as well as attach a monetary value to that set of personal, tokenized information.

Now imagine the Driver’s license smart contract, connected to a pool of hospital records, important dates, crime records, education records.

I mean, every record that was ever made public!

And not just a DL issuance, we are talking court cases, job recruitments, medical histories, college records.

Add to this the B2B transactions, where companies direct pay you to develop a new product or upgrade their existing product line.

Imagine the best universities sharing their research, available publicly, advancing humanity one token at a time.

In effect, a huge system, running complex administrative, legal, medical, economic, and social databases, all in sync with each other, and all ready to access each in return of true value.

Who ever said that crypto is backed by nothing?