This article originally appeared on MeetingoftheMinds.org. Blockchain, the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has emerged as a secure ledger platform that rapidly will accelerate the adoption of smart city digital services.

In the areas of energy and mobility, for instance, blockchain has enabled transactions of everything from solar energy credits to paying drivers and cutting costs for participants in ride-sharing programs by leveraging existing systems — effectively cutting out brokers or third parties. Ford, Silicon Valley stealth startup Autonomic, Qualcomm and Waze announced last month the development of a cloud-based mobility platform for cities to manage self-driving vehicle ride-hailing, deliveries and bicycle sharing that will feature everything from payment processing to parking and traffic logistics.

The Ford GoBike share program, which launched in five Bay Area cities in 2016, was said by knowing observers to be part of Ford’s strategy to build a repository of data and usage habits from younger urban shared-mobility users. GoBike was also a means to increase its public-private partner non-auto cred in regional transit planning through work with the San Francisco Bay Area-wide government agency Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

In terms of its new urban cloud ecosystem, Ford appears to be trying to avoid the “walled garden” approach of Tesla. For now, Ford is inviting other automakers to join the cellular vehicle to everything (CV2X) platform, planned to be operational by late 2019.

Reading between the lines (none of Ford’s many announcements coming from the Consumer Electronics Show specified blockchain), it is evident that these systems will be leveraging blockchain, as Ford began quietly hiring blockchain engineers in mid-2017 and continues to do so into 2018. In New York City, the 115-year old automotive company has a City Solutions group working with Microsoft, Google and others on urban business challenges from “drones to blockchain.” Read more from greenbiz.com…

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