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Vienna progresses blockchain strategy

Networks developed by the city of Vienna and EY aim to facilitate transparency, efficiency and security of government data across the city

Blockchains are a key element of Vienna's digitalisation initiative
Blockchains are a key element of Vienna's digitalisation initiative

Professional services firm, Ernst & Young (EY), is working with the City of Vienna on public blockchains to validate and secure the city’s Open Government Data (OGD), which includes information on public transport routes, train schedules and surrounding communities’ voting results.


The project is part of the city’s DigitalCity.Wien digitalisation initiative and the Austrian capital is using blockchain to simplify and automate administrative processes, especially for OGD. These include energy reports and valid business registrations, which must be updated frequently. In addition, the blockchain networks are helping to improve the data security of this information.


Since the solution went live in December 2017, approximately 350 datasets have been secured on the blockchain networks. Among the first to be launched in Europe, the networks secure official documents by storing hashtags of the data sets on the public blockchains, allowing city employees as well as citizens to review the documents’ authenticity, when they were created, and when and if the data was modified.


“This project, realised with the support of EY, makes the city a pioneer in the implementation of blockchains in public administration and we are committed to an open and participatory city with reduced bureaucracy,” said Ulrike Huemer, CIO, city of Vienna. “With blockchain, government employees, residents or app developers can trace changes in data, so if someone changes the bus route – which is linked to mapping applications – an alert can be triggered.


“We will continue teaming with experienced professionals such as EY to pool knowledge and establish Vienna as a centre of competence for blockchain – as well as one of the most forward-looking technology cities in Europe and worldwide.”


Brigitte Lutz, project manager, City of Vienna, said that currently the city is only notarising documents from Vienna on the public blockchains, but will expand this further to all data in the Austrian Open Government Data portal. “Going forward, we anticipate that IT companies and the City of Vienna could collaborate to promote Vienna as a smart city and a hotspot for digital industries,” she said.


The platform was built over a period of four months by developers from the city of Vienna. EY supervised and helped to manage the project, and integrated the blockchain networks into the municipal Open Government platform.


“The EY Austria Advisory blockchain team is already working in several industries such as energy, banking and financial services,” said Jonas Jünger, EY project manager and blockchain lead, advisory, Ernst & Young Global, Austria.


“For this pioneering innovative project in public administration, we collaborated with the EY network of experienced blockchain professionals and will continue to further expand our work with the city of Vienna.”


EY has announced its work in blockchain for content rights and royalties management, the world’s first marine insurance blockchain platform as well as a suite of blockchain audit technologies that enhances the ability to perform an in-depth review of cryptocurrency business transactions.


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