Blockchain could help cities move towards monetising device-related data from streetlights, car parks, waste bins and more.
Swiss technology company Paradox Engineering is integrating blockchain into its interoperability-focused PE Smart Urban Network platform.
The company says blockchain technology will grant the highest possible cybersecurity and enable monetisation of the data generated by IoT-connected infrastruture.
Gianni Minetti, CEO at Paradox Engineering, said: “It’s time to change the game for smart cities: over-the-edge cybersecurity is in order, as is turning cost-saving into revenue generation and boosting new economies.
"The Internet of Things is not only about connecting devices into an open and interoperable network; it’s about information becoming tangible value for the benefit of all: citizens, businesses and city managers.”
Cybercrime is a growing risk for smart cities as their infrastructure becomes more connected and they are increasingly data-driven.
Paradox Engineering says the combination of blockchain technology with dedicated hardware security modules on devices and ultra-reliable encryption will boost smart city cybersecurity, allowing cities to move away from the conventional ‘bastion defence paradigm’ to benefit from security-by-design network systems.
"It’s time to change the game for smart cities: over-the-edge cybersecurity is in order, as is turning cost-saving into revenue generation and boosting new economies."
Further, blockchain could help cities and partners move towards monetising device-related data from streetlights, car parks, waste bins, environmental sensors and other urban infrastructure.
Through blockchain, this data can be transformed into tradable tokens. For instance, the information a parking sensor generates about a parking space being vacant or busy can become a token and traded to offer smart parking services. Parking operators could buy ‘info-tokens’ from the city, adding a new strand to their business while allowing cities to turn their parking sensor investment into revenues, at the same time as driving services which reduce congestion and pollution.
Such info-tokens could come from virtually any sensor in the city, Paradox Engineering says. For example, environmental data could be used for traffic-mitigation applications to dynamically manage restricted traffic zones based on air quality conditions.
Universities, start-ups and other businesses could design innovative applications and services by mashing-up different data streams, Minetti said.
He added: “Since the very inception of PE Smart Urban Network, back in 2011, and now as part of MinebeaMitsumi Group and the uCIFI Alliance, we have always envisioned openness and security-by-design. Today, we are moving one step forward by integrating blockchain for cybersecurity and data tokenisation.”
At Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona on November 20, SmartCitiesWorld is holding a free roundtable with Paradox Engineering to explore this topic in more detail.
Gianni Minetti, CEO at Paradox Engineering, and Paolo Rossi, Director at Swiss utility AEM, will share examples of this vision in action.
AEM has pioneered a smart grid covering its entire basin in Ticino Canton, Switzerland. The implementation of an interoperable network platform is paving the way for innovative applications and services, such as smart metering, smart lighting, parking management, traffic video surveillance, public Wi-Fi and many others, which are being developed in collaboration with local municipalities. Further, these foundations are opening new opportunities for advanced initiatives such as urban data monetisation, which AEM is now exploring.
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