Cities are very complex systems. They are communities of people, flows of money, and allocation of physical land. They are in perpetual movement. Local governance is a critical element in these systems. Many aspects of cities are begging for reform; local governance (City Hall) is one of them.
There are exciting experiments in local governance today. The Urban Hackathon and City Governance 2.0 movements have helped open up city data, integrate new technologies into city operations, and involve citizens in urban decision-making in new ways. Apps are letting citizens interact with their local governments in more persistent, light-touch ways.
But there are bolder experiments and more disruptive technologies on the horizon. Blockchains and distributed ledgers have tremendous potential for improving city government.
- Transparent record keeping and public archives
- Fraud-free voting
- Distributed, tamper-free registries
- Smart contract administration
- Grant distribution and tracking
- Distributed decision-making
Overall, there are several levels of integration between blockchain technology and municipal governance beyond digital currency and finance systems.