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What Are Smart Cities and the Role of Blockchain In Smart Cities?

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role of blockchain

What Are Smart Cities and the Role of Blockchain In Smart Cities?

IT experts have designed smart cities to develop, deploy, and promote sustainable development practices.

Now, what are smart cities? 

A smart city is a framework mostly composed of Information and Communication Technologies or ICT to address growing urbanization challenges.

A considerable part of a smart city framework or an ICT framework is that it consists of an intelligent network of connected objects and machines. 

These machines transmit information through cloud applications and with the use of wireless technology. 

Cloud-based IoT applications receive, analyze, and manage all this data in real-time, which helps municipalities, enterprises, and citizens make better decisions. 

The use of smart phones and connected cars and homes citizens engage with smart city ecosystems. 

A way to cut costs and improve sustainability is to pair devices with the city’s physical infrastructure and services. 

With the help of a smart city framework, we can find solutions to many community problems. For instance: 

  • Traffic lights connected to cloud-based applications can receive data from sensors and cars. In return, light cadence and timing in response to real-time traffic can improve, which reduces road congestion
  • Parking meters and electric vehicles charging docks can communicate with cars to find the nearest available spot
  • With the help of smart garbage cans synced to waste management companies, garbage is collected and scheduled to be picked up when needed instead of the pre-planned schedule
  • Instead of plastic cards for driver’s licenses and ID cards, citizen’s smart phones take their place. In return, access to the city and local government services are speed-up and simplified

Together, smart city frameworks help in optimizing infrastructure, public service, utilities, and mobility.

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Why Are Smart Cities Being Built?

Urbanization is a problem faced by every country all over the world. 

According to statistics, 54% of the total population of the world lives in cities. The number is estimated to reach 66% by 2050. 

Over the next three decades, urbanization will make another 2.5 billion people migrate to cities, and to keep up with this rapid expansion, environmental, economic, and social sustainability is a must. 

Smart cities can provide such a framework to rely on.

Examples of smart cities  

AMSTERDAM SMART CITY:

A shining example of a well-connected smart city would be Amsterdam. The initiative of making Amsterdam a smart city began in 2009, and it includes over 170 projects. 

It sends traffic and transportation data to related parties such as developers who create mapping apps connected to the city’s transportation system. 

Due to this, navigating the city is simple and easy. The smart city infrastructure supports a floating village of houses, which helps with urbanization with a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative.

COPENHAGEN SMART CITY:

One of the smallest cities in the world, Copenhagen, is known worldwide for its mobilizing expertise. 

In collaboration with MIT, Copenhagen is leveraging open data to build an innovative bike system. 

Real-time data is shared to monitor and manage air quality as well as traffic congestion.

How Do Smart Cities Become Successful?

Along with people, dwellings, businesses, and traditional urban infrastructure, we will need four other essential elements to enable smart cities to succeed. The four elements are:

  •     Security that can be trusted
  •     Flexible monetization schemes
  •     Open information
  •     Extensive wireless connectivity

Risks   

Probably the most significant concern about smart cities is the danger of privacy breaches. 

Governments, businesses, and individuals spend millions of dollars on preventing leakage of data to outsiders, and as little as possible is shared. 

The key enabler of sustainability in smart cities would be the complex ecosystem that shares information and combines it in real-time. 

Only with the cooperation of multiple sectors can better and sustainable outcomes be achieved and to receive real-time contextual information, while making sure data is kept secured. 

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Role of Blockchain in Smart Cities

blockchainThe role of smart cities is to incorporate technology as the groundwork to take the edge off the problems that plague the current system. 

Examples of current smart city capabilities are universal identification (ID), green energy, water, pollution management, forms of transportation, wireless internet systems, and promotion of local businesses, to name a few. 

The ‘Internet of Things’ serves the current technology needs of smart cities; this term is used to define the integrated network of gadgets with planted exclusive identifiers. Examples include traffic management and e-commerce. 

A traffic management program called SCOOT improves green light time at intersections by providing inductive loop and magnetometer data to a supercomputer, in London, coordinating the traffic lights to enhance the traffic across the city. 

An astounding forty-seven thousand new jobs in Barcelona were created due to the implementation of a network of fiber optics that provides free and fast Wi-Fi, which supports the IoT and the integration of smart parking, lighting, and water management. 

In Amsterdam, the IoT-based infrastructure was tested by allowing traffic flow, public safety, and energy usage to be monitored and tweaked depending on real-time data. Moreover, cities like Baltimore and Boston have introduced smart trash cans that transfer information to determine the best pickup route for garbage disposal crew. 

India was the pioneer country to successfully enact a smart city project across 12 of its cities, in the year 2015. 

All of the above examples demonstrate the reliance on IoT infrastructure and blockchain can make IoT become more resilient and efficient.  

It is evident that Blockchain gives the groundwork for the management of transactions by providing security and transparency. 

Today many smart cities have a large scale Blockchain implementation or distributed ledger technology. 

By the next year, Dubai is aiming to become the first Blockchain-powered smart city in the world.

Since 2012, Estonia has used distributed ledger technology to keep records of its citizens. 

Companies like Hancom are the emerging suppliers of services and products related to IoT hardware for smart city development. 

The Hancom group will incorporate Blockchain technology to set up a 470-acre smart city development project in Gapyeong Malang Malang, as the basis for smart city development. 

This company also developed the 30-acre Augury Square in Atlanta, which will incorporate the use of cryptocurrency, pushing forward the usage of digital currency into the daily lives of its inhabitants. 

Information collected and kept in a cloud-based framework can be encoded by a Blockchain system to ensure the security of data in a smart city. 

Blockchain can be used for identification, for proof of citizenship, tax data, voting, to name a few. 

The elimination of paperwork in such a system helps to manage and reduce pollution in smart cities. 

Other services that can incorporate Blockchain in smart cities are: 

  •     Use of internet sensors to identify general repairs and road maintenance
  •     They connect to healthcare services for emergencies
  •     They are providing first responders with pertinent medical data
  •     Connection of residential utilities and rent to the Blockchain

Blockchain provides the framework to unite the services in a single system capable of tracking, security, immutability, transparency and above all SECURITY.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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5 questions we want XRP army to answer!

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xrp investing news

What follows is our opinion.  

Let’s not be hostile.  

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

We are simply posing some questions based on the information we came across and our own limited interpretation. 

It is quite possible that the sources we are referring to are at fault or our interpretation is. Either way, just answer these questions for us so that we can learn new things about XRP that we did not know.

Our readers know that we have been anti-XRP for a long time. We got trolled, mocked and called ignorant. Well, to each their own.

Our questions to the entire XRP army are simple, here they are:

Question 1: If crypto was to replace (or at least reshape) the entire banking business then what does a token whose sole business model is based on ‘accommodating’ banks have any future?

To put differently, when the world starts conducting commerce via text messages why do we need banks and Ripple which wants to serve banks?

Our basis for this question: 

In the future when we will start doing business with each other over text messages, wallets and email signatures, why do we need a payment gateway from Ripple?

We know that WeChat payment enables users to transact over chat.  Other companies are trying to catch up with this (primarily why Facebook was looking at creating its own currency, Libra).

However, once we have a digital dollar, we do not even need an outside stablecoin since one could, in theory, use the digital dollar directly.                  

Question 2: Why do you have to pay businesses to use XRP if it is so superior?

Our basis for this question: 

Financial Times reported that Ripple paid Moneygram to use Ripple technology.

Here is a direct quote:

It turns out Ripple has been paying a significant amount of subsidies cash to MoneyGram’s business since buying into the company in June. In the third and fourth quarter alone the Ripple benefits amounted to $11.3m.

What’s more, until a consultation with the SEC**, MoneyGram had been more than happy to book these cash flows as revenues. Due to the SEC guidance, however, it has now had to restate fourth-quarter guidance to account for Ripple payments as “contra expenses”.

XRP Twitter

Question 3: What is Ripple’s revenue worth without the ‘selling’ XRP?

Our basis for this question: 

The question seems to be answered by the XRP’s CEO himself. Here is an excerpt:

Asked if XRP was keeping everything cash flow positive at Ripple Labs, Mr Garlinghouse answered: “Well XRP is one source. I don’t know how to answer that because if you took away our software revenues, that would make us less profitable. If you took away all our XRP, that makes us less profitable. So I don’t think about it as one thing.” 

He clarified later: “We would not be profitable or cash flow positive [without selling XRP], I think I’ve said that. We have now.”

In our opinion, we think that the only reason Ripple (XRP) is even operational is because of the billions upon billions of XRP tokens that they keep dumping on the unassuming investors.  

Is this a wrong assumption?

Question 4: If Ripple does not need XRP, why is XRP needed?

Our basis for this question: 

This is based on our understanding that Ripple’s technology can be used by the businesses without having to use XRP.  It is recommended but not ‘required’.

Is this accurate?

Ripple’s solutions can work without XRP (its native token).  So, if XRP is not a utility token in strict sense, how are its creators able to mint and sell them at will without tripping any security laws?

Question 5: If Ripple [XRP] is to act as the ‘stable’ value while the transactions take place on Ripple network, why should anyone trust XRP which is backed by nothing instead of stablecoins like USDC that are backed by real world assets?

Our basis for this question: 

We would personally trust USDC more or even Facebook’s Libra rather than XRP which is backed by nada.

This is what Demelza’s opinion was during our interview:

“The main point is that if XRP were able to back their currency with financial assets and stabilize the purchasing power of the currency, then that would mean XRP coins should have no price appreciation. In fact, only the equity shares of Ripple Labs would profit from XRP’s adoption as a global reserve currency. But Ripple Labs is a privately held company. After fully understanding what XRP is, one realizes that XRP’s investment pitch does not make sense at all.”

Conclusion

We are trying to convince ourselves as to why we need Ripple in the crypto space if:

  • Future of payments is going to be ‘self-bank’ & over the chat
  • There are better stablecoins in the market 
  • Ripple itself as a technology doesn’t need its own native token, XRP

For this very reason, our opinion is that the money will flow out of XRP and the creators will keep dumping their bags into the market until the market can no longer absorb it and then it will be ‘lights out’.

We await for the XRP army to provide us insights that we did not know and our opinion changes…

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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DeFi is Not the Holy Grail of Crypto, Here is Why

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Defi Yfi

DeFi has been making millionaires overnight and turning millionaires broke at the same speed.

Those who are on the bandwagon are rejoicing and those who either missed out or got burned by one of the fake projects are yelling ‘Scam’ at DeFi.

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

Our views are a bit different on the subject.

We do think DeFi is going to be a successful vertical among the blockchain (and crypto) solutions.

It will not be THE holy grail for the redemption of crypto status though.

Supply Chain, Crypto Lending, Insurance, Financial Services, Accounting, Identity, and many more verticals will collectively take blockchain and crypto to the masses.

Shifting our focus back on DeFi, here are some of our thoughts on the current state of DeFi. We do appreciate you dropping any insights you have that we might have missed.

DeFi is not a ponzi, here is why

If the DeFi project you are eyeing meets the following conditions, it is not a ponzi:

  • Audited code: Is the code on which DeFi runs is audited by reputable blockchain auditors? 
  • Reliable team: Who is behind the project? Do they have the know-how? Do they have a history of running scams or leading successful projects? 
  • Actual (sustainable) revenue model: What is the revenue model?  Is it too ‘scammy’ sounding or is it based on sound mathematical (and algorithmic) models?
  • No lock-in periods: Is it easy to get in and out of the platform without any restrictions or lock-in periods?

If you answered yes to ALL of these questions then there is a 100% certainty that the DeFi you are dealing with is not a ponzi (or scam).

However, a caveat is due here.  

Just because the project is not a ponzi doesn’t guarantee its success. Lot of well intentioned companies fail, that’s just the nature of business.

So, do not be one of those guys who sells their home to invest in crypto or DeFi (and that itself is not advice, just an opinion).

If you don’t want to hear it from us, listen to what Yearn Finance creator has to say about DeFi tokens (not all, obviously) having ZERO value.

Source: Crypto Culture

DeFi on Ethereum is not sustainable, here is why

Ethereum DefiMost, if not all, DeFi projects that are making the news today are on Ethereum. 

Ethereum is not a reliable blockchain when it is overloaded.  It gets choked and crashes.  

People are already complaining about exorbitant fees on the network due to the DeFi craze.  

DeFi itself as a crypto vertical is quite new and we are sure there are going to be a lot of ‘killer apps’ that will show up on the scene.

We are currently looking at the DeFi solutions that are being built on other blockchain networks (subscribe for free to know when we post that article).

PolkaDOT is not the end all be all, here is why

Polkadot Defi EcosystemMany are turning to the DOT as the next big thing after Ethereum.

It may very well be.

However, it has not had the chance to prove itself, not yet.

Ethereum’s resilience (or lack thereof) was revealed only during the ICO craze (and then later during CryptoKitties debacle).

What monsters lie in the DOT’s belly?  We don’t know and we would be weary of anyone who claims to know with certainty.

Other things to consider

Entire DeFi space is pretty new and we do not know what we do not know about potential vulnerabilities.

While this is true of Bitcoin itself, Bitcoin has withstood assault for over a decade and still stands stronger.  

Same cannot be said about DeFi.  

Can you imagine someone investing their life-savings into DeFi only to have funds taken because of a bug in the code?

Needless to say, many folks are exploiting the looping system in the DeFi where they take loan against their deposit then lend it back to the platform to take another loan against their deposit, and ad infinitum.

This is causing the DeFi systems to show more liquidity than what truly is.

Conclusion

We think DeFi is an exciting development, however, we still put it alongside ICO craziness for now.

When this space matures and we see reliable solutions emerge – DeFi has the potential to drive a trillion dollar vertical on its own.  

That is just the potential, all the trials and tribulations that we have to go through to get there is going to be one hell of a ride.  

So buckle up and enjoy (and please do not lose your shirts on the ride)!

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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These forgotten gems could resurge during this bull run

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Forgotten Crypto Gems

Forgotten Crypto Gems

Disclaimer:  We own few of these tokens and there is no guarantee that these coins will actually resurge. Everything you are about to read is an opinion.  Our intention is to put some projects that have taken the backseat in recent times.

If you are curious as to why we give away so much for free – please check this Crypto Freebies page.

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

Crypto market is quite weird.  

It deceives the onlooker as if it’s learning from its past mistakes but it’s really not.

For instance, during the 2017 ICO craze, anyone could pitch any half-assed idea and raise millions from unassuming investors.

This bull run in 2020 is all about DeFi and Data Oracles.

Just slap ‘DeFi’ to any project without an actual product or even a single line of code written and you will make a boatload of money.

Because the ‘pump and dump’ practices are not closely monitored in the crypto space, many YouTubers are dumping their bags on their viewers.

It is so blatant that the YouTuber will start out saying “I loaded my bags with this” and then go on about all the mooning stuff and throw in a small disclaimer somewhere and voila. 

They make hundreds of thousands or even millions each day. And we are not exaggerating about that.

You contrast that with what you find here.  

We are giving away all the information we are digging up for free (including our Top 5 tokens for the next decade that we hope will 100x).  If you are curious as to why we give away so much for free – please check this Crypto Freebies page.

We recently started the microcap gems series where we are looking to dig up projects with a decent team, an actual product and lower market cap (usually under $5 Million, sometimes even less).

Because of the $$ limit on the microcap gems, there are some projects that we couldn’t cover in that series.

However, we wanted to float these projects in front of the discernible audience (and newbies who may not have looked into these).

This article’s sole aim is to ‘point’ you to these projects. It will not be a deep dive and as always we encourage you DYOR before investing.

Dragon Chain

Dragon Chain price prediction“Dragonchain is an enterprise and start up ready platform to build flexible and scalable blockchain applications.”

Like most projects we pick, Dragon Chain has solutions ready for business today.  This is not a pipedream or a 15 year roadmap.  That is why we think this is a forgotten gem.

This project is still going strong in the background in terms of development and traction.  They released a video in August about how their anti-fraud and transparency proof systems are used by an exchange.

Website: https://dragonchain.com/

Ticker: DRGN

ATH: $5.27

ATL: .02

Current Price: $0.079

Cindicator

Cindicator CND price prediction

“Cindicator builds predictive analytics by merging collective intelligence and machine learning models. Cindicator’s analytical products are available exclusively to holders of CND tokens.”

Market pays top dollar for prediction data.  Cindicator is one of the first projects to build an AI based market intelligence platform on blockchain.

Cindicator boasts over 135,000 analysts from over 135 countries.

In our opinion, Cindicator is a viable project, although it has not gained traction.

Website: https://cindicator.com/

Ticker: CND

ATH: $0.347

ATL: $0.002

Current price: $0.011

FunFair

Funfair Price Prediction

“FunFair is a revolutionary blockchain technology platform that provides low cost, high quality, transparent casino experiences that are Guaranteed Fair.”

The space that FunFair is targeting is a massive one and is expected to grown even more in the coming years.

Ticker: FUN

ATH: $0.33

ATL: $0.0010

Current price: $0.0052

This page will be updated with future ‘forgotten gems’, so please consider subscribing

Acronyms used: 

ATH: All Time High

ATL: All Time Low

DYOR: Do Your Own Research

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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