Olsztyn, Poland is reportedly the first city in the world to leverage Ethereum’s blockchain to aid the provision of emergency services, offering yet another tangible use case for distributed ledger technology.
Olsztyn has completed a successful trial run of SmartKey, a bridging technology that connects blockchain with physical assets, to aid in police, fire and ambulance services.
SmartKey will reportedly enable rescue teams to perform their jobs more efficiently by connecting a smart contract to Teltonika smart devices that are used by local rescue teams. This connection enables emergency crews to enter any building in the city without having to track down a keyholder or wait for permission.
Gustaw Marek Brzezin, the marshall of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship in which Olsztyn is located, issued the following statement:
“The need for our rescue services to perform their duties without obstruction is a delicate one. The use of blockchain and SmartKey technology seems to be like the perfect solution, giving reassurance to building owners and inhabitants, but also freedom for our emergency services.”
SmartKey believes blockchain technology can lay the groundwork for the development of smart cities. Although definitions vary, a smart city refers to any urban area that leverages emerging technologies and sensors to collect data, which can then be used to manage assets, resources and services more efficiently. As a paradigm, smart cities feed into other theories about sustainability and economic development.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, could have major implications for future smart cities. Connected devices are thought to represent one of the biggest growth opportunities of the next decade. The World Economic Forum, for example, has identified IoT as an important pillar of “urban transformation,” especially after COVID-19.
Several cryptocurrency projects operate in the IoT niche, the largest being Iota (MIOTA) with a market cap of $825 million. At least a dozen others have a market cap of $1 million or more.