The concept of Smart city has been gathering momentum recently with the City of Taipei partnering with the IOTA foundation (Jan. 2018) to achieve the smart city goal initiatives. There is a multitude of smart city definitions that you will find out there, but simply put it uses the combination of emerging technologies like Big data, Machine Learning, Process automation & most importantly Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline the city functions, drive economic growth & make the lives of the residents better. IoT allows the sharing of data, resources & services between the interoperability of all the connected devices which will be a key part of the new digital economy.
This is where IOTA came in the picture – although popularly known as the Cryptocurrency IOTA currently a member of the Crypto Elite sitting at number 9 by Marketcap the motive behind the creation of this digital asset was to be the backbone of IoT. It is no secret that blockchain is considered to be the flag bearer of a transforming mechanized economy but there is a huge road block in the form of scaling issues which hinders its quick adoption. Creators of IOTA wanted to fix this issue precisely.
IOTA is based on a technology called Tangle or Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) which basically addresses the issue of scaleability in the traditional blockchain based Cryptocurrencies utilising the PoW (Proof of Work) protocol. Tangle basically accomplishes this by allowing two validations at the same time any transaction is added on its network. This allows the Tangle network to carry out high transaction volume without choking or slowing down.
The city of Taipei is currently working on two projects with the IOTA – TangleID & Airbox. TangleID tech aims to create tamper proof ID cards for the citizens of the city to eliminate the chances of identity theft & voter fraud. It will also work towards creating a database to store the private and public records of the citizens. Airbox on the other hand will use data sharing technology to provide real-time information on temperature, light & pollution to the residents of Taipei collected from the sensors installed around the city.
After the successful partnering of this real-time use case of IOTA based smart city initiative the interest has spread westwards. The IOTA foundation led by the +CityxChange consortium has been granted a multi city project by the EU (European Union) with an approved funding of 20 million Euros. The main aim of this flagship project is to create energy independent cities which produce more energy than they consume by utilizing peer-to-peer energy trades. Cities of Trondheim, Limerick, Alba Iulia, Pisek, Sestao, Smolyan and Voru intend to become the smart cities employing this technology. The project is expected to kick off on Jan. 01, 2019.
The success of these smart city projects specially in Europe may very well lead to mass adoption of Blockchain based Tangle technology across other communities & cities in Europe and elsewhere. Sustainable cities with Energy independence & Pollution free ecosystems might soon become a reality.