Blockchain Uses Cases in Smart Cities
Itsavirus Team
Updated on Jan 08, 2024

Published At: January 11, 2023

Blockchain has proven its value and potential for industries beyond cryptocurrencies. As a distributed ledger, Blockchain brings an exciting new world of benefits to the smart cities industry; it's creating new opportunities that haven't been envisioned. Let's look at the use case of blockchain technology in the smart cities industry.

What is Blockchain

In a simple definition, a blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger that records and verifies every transaction. All the data is distributed across the entire network of computer systems linked in a peer-to-peer network without the control of any single entity. Thus, records of transactions cannot be altered, deleted, or destroyed.

Internally, a blockchain maintains a linear chronology. For non-internal nodes, the order of transactions is not specified. Instead, they are grouped into blocks and then included in a blockchain later. The timestamp on a block would be set when it is mined. Filtering nodes can use this time to evaluate confirmed and not confirmed transactions.

The benefits of Blockchain for businesses

Because of its well-known security and transparency to transfer data within a distributed network, blockchain technology delivers cost savings with new efficiencies for businesses, such as:

  • Enhance security: The data records in Blockchain are encrypted end-to-end and cant be altered. It helps to prevent fraud and unauthorized activity. Another benefit of Blockchain is that rather than being stored in a single server, information is stored across a network of computers, making it difficult for hackers to view data.
  • Better Transparency: Blockchain provides full transparency by maintaining a complete history of past transactions within the network. It gives access to the user to track the data. The information in Blockchain is distributed across a network of connected computer systems, making it less prone to unauthorized data tampering.
  • Improved traceability: Blockchain improved traceability by recording all the transactions without a single network owner. It is possible to share provenance data directly with customers, which helps combat issues like counterfeit goods, compliance violations, delays and waste.
  • Increased efficiency: Blockchain enables the completion of transactions faster and more efficiently. Because it doesn't require verification by a central authority, it eliminates the paperwork since documentation and transaction details are stored on the Blockchain.
  • Automation: Along with Blockchain, Smart contracts are programs that run when predetermined conditions are met. Smart contracts eliminate third parties, increase efficiency, and further accelerate the automation process.

Blockchain uses cases in smart cities

The implementation of Blockchain in smart cities at from a recently published framework for interoperability, which presents a three-layer model for blockchain use:

1. The business model layer includes governance models, data standardization, legal frameworks and commercial models.

2. The platform layer includes consensus mechanisms, smart contracts, authentication and authorization.

3. The infrastructure layer includes a hybrid cloud, managed Blockchain and proprietary components. It is important to note that achieving interoperability requires more than solving a technical problem; it also requires solving an issue in governance, data ownership and commercial business models that incentivize ecosystem stakeholders to collaboration

1. MaaS (mobility as a service)

The adoption of Blockchain in the smart cities industry can be seen in the realization of MaaS. For example, there is an effort to use Blockchain for data exchange and revenue sharing among multiple transportation operators, and transportation may take place across cities. It's necessary to solve issues of data standardization.

Smart contracts can be utilized for transport ticketing as well. Even though different blockchain platforms sometimes use different languages for smart contracts, interoperability issues for ticketing may need to be resolved. At the infrastructure layer, since permissioned blockchains (those that maintain an access control layer to allow specific actions to be performed only by particular identifiable participants) are usually used for data exchange across multiple transportation systems, the existence of proprietary components may pose a challenge in achieving interoperability.

Blockchain can help give a boost to transportation services in smart cities. It helps create a point-to-point vehicular network. Such a network can enable efficient vehicle tracking, provide a secure vehicle and driver registration platform, and notify owners about essential updates. It can help create specific vehicle owner data tracking to prevent instances of vehicle thefts and enhance the vehicle sale and resale process.

2. Real estate and energy sectors

Other use cases for Blockchain are in real estate and energy. Smart Blockchain-based contracts automatically allow trade surplus electricity with other grid members in the real estate sector. There are efforts to streamline property rent procedures using Blockchain, but to streamline the moving process, the procedures related to the original residence and the new residence need to be coordinated and processed.

In this case, applications on different blockchains may need to interoperate. In the energy sector, efforts are underway to use Blockchain to conduct energy transactions within a region. Different companies may be using varying blockchain platforms, so the three-layer model of interoperability described above can be used in this case.

3. Decentralized Identity

Personal protection data is improved with blockchain technology. Decentralized identity (DID) is a blockchain-enabled embodiment of self-sovereign identity that can enhance the privacy and security of personal data. DID refers to individual ownership of personal digital data relating to many identity elements. Returning the ownership of data to the individuals to whom the data pertains can benefit those individuals and organizations that would otherwise be responsible for protecting the data.

4. Waste management

Waste management services can implement blockchain technology to provide real-time information on containers and maintain a clean environment and hygiene in smart cities. Other than real-time tracking of various aspects of waste management, it can provide transparent, immutable information regarding the amount of waste collected, who collected it and how the waste is being recycled or disposed of.

Other examples of blockchain use cases in waste management are entrepreneurs can create a cryptocurrency built on Blockchain that is awarded to individuals that help with waste management and can be the way to change the behavior of citizens by collecting waste.

5. Participation

Blockchain platform supports The implementation of good governance for increasing participatory democracy for citizens to vote and access government services, surveys and referendums. Blockchain allows digitization and encrypts of personal identification cards to ensure a secure, cost-effective, incorruptible and transparent system making them trusted and less prone to data manipulations.

6. Increased Energy Savings

The concept of using Blockchain to enhance energy efficiency and conservation is not new. Indeed, various organizations have been considering the possibility for a long time. Recently, there has been much talk about the further use of Blockchain as an energy tool - namely, how it can improve energy conservation in smart cities.

Blockchain can increase energy savings in smart cities by establishing a peer-to-peer energy trading platform where citizens can use their surplus electricity and pay subscribers who need additional energy.

Final notes

It is clear at this point that both Smart Cities and blockchain technology are still in their early stages of development. Future advancements in technology and innovations to be made form part of a Smart City, and Blockchain can lead this innovation with its far-reaching applications in various industries. As blockchain technology and other forms of technology evolve, the city's efficiency, design, reliability, and safety will slowly but surely become more advanced.

Blockchain continues to be one of the most promising technologies that can benefit most companies with its far-reaching capabilities. It can change how organizations work and, in turn, how business is done.

Are you interested in integrating this innovative technology into your business?

📌 Let's start a conversation with Itsavirus to explore the possibilities and scale up your business.


Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain for Supply Chains: Part 1 – Introduction (April 2019): whitepapers/inclusive-deployment-of-blockchain-for-supply-chains-part-1-introduction.

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