Nowadays, you can hardly find anyone who hasn’t heard about smart light bulbs, smart security cameras, smart kitchen appliances, smart thermostats and self-parking vehicles. Now think bigger. If interconnected smart devices in the home is any indication of where this technology is leading, then imagine smart cities. They actually exist.
Studies show that the majority of households in the United States own at least one smart home product. As the residential grid expands with more smart technology, smart cities are rising.
Smart technologies allow consumers to save time, money, and other expenditures, while providing optimization options geared to help conserve resources. It helps individuals limit the amount of time they spend across multiple devices, and is essentially aimed for more efficient living.
Across the globe, cities are experiencing an era of evolution through integrated smart technology. The estimated goals of smart cities are to provide the technological ability to focus on a broad spectrum of things — from energy distribution, public transportation systems, transport systems, traffic management, and also garbage collection.
As data streams and technological trends converge in order to make lives simpler for a fast paced data driven society — such as by lowering carbon emissions by reducing traffic congestion and helping individuals locate parking spaces — people will be able to maximize the potential this technology has to offer.
Improving efficiency and quality of life
Cities face myriads of diverse issues on a daily basis due to the inherent complex mechanics of a social and political infrastructure consisting of a vast system of moving parts.
Since cities fundamentally are socio-political bodies, resolving social problems are invariably a strong focal point for the individuals and authorities who oversee them. The right conditions are essential. Therefore, it is critical to strive to build the necessary conditions in order to develop a blossoming economy that can not only create a more prosperous job market, but also encourage social equality in an undisputed era of digital transcendence.
Additionally, cities are burdened with the responsibility of providing a functional infrastructure at prices that are affordable to everyday consumers. Other important necessities include urban safety and emergency relief, acceptable education and healthcare options, as well as housing that’s affordable. Basically, everything that’s necessary in order to make a city an appealing place for people to desire to live in.
These days, citizens have a lot of expectations from their cities. Consequently, they want to be provided with user-friendly services in a digital format for convenience. We see these on a smaller scale whenever we visit a restaurant equipped with waiter-less kiosks which allow individuals to place orders and pay without being dependent upon waiters, which in turn reduces waiting and liberates time.
Access to government data such as performance dashboards, meetings from city hall streaming live, and an active social media presence has the ability to aid smart cities in advocating a healthy citizen-government relation, which in turn will promote accountability, transparency, and also will encourage a more provocative involvement of the public.
The creation of electronic groups will provide the right communication platforms for people to vocalize their opinions and also receive feedback. Subsequently, this kind of reciprocation will help build trust between citizens and the city and strengthen communities.
The smart techs cities around the world already utilize
One of the cities that has notable achievements in the progression towards utilizing smart technology is Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Dubai Smart City Project. The goal of this initiative is to digitize Dubai government’s traditional services and operations by December 2021 and eliminate over 1 billion pieces of paper used for government transactions every year.
Currently, in Dubai, there is a 46 hectare property development known as the Sustainable City, which is reportedly the first zero-energy structure in the Emirate of Dubai.
The marvel includes almost 500 villas, 89 apartment buildings, 11 dome greenhouses, 32,300 square feet of outdoor urban farm land, as well as a whopping 1.16 million square feet of office structures and retail areas. This was the first phase of the development, which launched in 2015. The second phase is set to include a hotel, school, and also an innovation center — all seamlessly connected to a self-sustaining grid.
BeInCrypto contacted Jonathan Reichental, CEO of business and technology education, advisory, and investment firm Human Future and the former chief information officer for the City of Palo Alto, to learn more about smart cities. Reichental said that “Dubai, just a few decades ago was just a few buildings and tents — sort of a coastal village in the desert, and today it’s this remarkable city of towering skyscrapers and beautiful hotels, and very efficient services,” and continued:
“What distinguishes Dubai is a real commitment and solid leadership from the top down in terms of making government function better, [and] being very responsive and really focused on this idea of creating a happy city. That’s so important in the smart city space because we’re talking about quality of life, and happiness and health are characteristics of a smarter and more sustainable city.”
Barcelona, Spain, was one of the first cities in Europe to begin benefiting from digital technologies. “Barcelona has done a lot to use technology for optimizing its public transportation, so people know when the train is coming and about delays. They just have very good analysis over their public transport. They’ve been very good in terms of their waste management,” Reichental commented and added:
“They’re one of the first to use smart trash cans or smart rubbish bins, and that helps make sure that there’s no overflowing trash, and the paths that the waste collectors can take are optimized. They really focused heavily on their tourism industry, making it very accessible to tourists and providing a lot of digital information.”
Additionally, by installing a vast network of fiber optic lines throughout Barcelona, the city was able to save 75 million euros ($88.9 million) of city funds, which then expanded the job market by creating 47,000 new jobs in the sector of smart technology. By implementing the fiber optics, Barcelona was able to provide free high-speed WiFi that is compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as broaden the scope of integrating smart water, lighting, including smart parking.
Globally, 11% of public parking spaces are now fitted with smart technology, which enables parking operators to manage remotely and autonomously monitor parking availability in real-time. Parking operators can access vehicle detection sensors, camera systems equipped with automated vehicle licence plate recognition, smart parking meters, smart payment systems for public parking, digital signatures as well as smartphone applications designed to assist with public parking navigation.
Cities are also retrofitting antique mercury vapor based street lights with LED lights, which are obviously more energy-efficient. They are also able to repurpose the housing for the LED lights by packing them with sensors, as well as cameras. When cities begin linking smart street lights together into a network, they have the fundamental elements of a smart city.
Newark, a city in New Jersey, installed this smart tech at the Liberty International Airport, which is used to monitor baggage and pedestrian traffic in one of their terminals. On the other side of the U.S., in Las Vegas, intelligent street lights were also installed to monitor air pollution, foot traffic, and also for surveillance reasons.
Since 2008, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has been conducting air quality analysis. Their monitoring initiative is accomplished with 75 transitory monitoring stations that are installed for a two week period, in addition to eight permanent air monitors designed to report air quality analysis reports at 15-minute intervals.
Due to this smart city program, it became for the city to determine that low-cost heating oil, used in just 1% of NYC buildings, was the primary cause of most of the air pollution than all the vehicles in the city combined. For this reason, number four and number six fuel oils have been banned from usage, and banning number two fuel oil could be on its way. On account of NYC’s air monitoring and analysis program, sulfur dioxide emissions have been drastically reduced by more than 70% in NYC since 2008.
Putting government services on blockchain
Cities and governmental infrastructure in all its diverse capacities all rely heavily on vast quantities of data — whether it is collected, stored, created or processed. The overall management and protection of information remains dependent upon competent end-users, which means that only one weak leak in the proverbial chain of digital security could spell disaster if those systems become compromised by an intruder. This is where blockchain technology comes into play.
Blockchain invariably possesses the ability to exponentially boost security and integrity of the information it processes and stores. According to Reichental, blockchain is the most commonly used in City Halls that utilize the technology.
There are over a dozen smart cities around the world, and less than a quarter of them have installed blockchain technology on a large scale or are utilizing some other distributed ledger system.
For example, the city of Dubai has already decided to become a blockchain-powered smart city by the year 2021. “Dubai’s adoption of blockchain technology at a city-wide scale is a testament to its commitment to positively transform government from service provider to service enabler,” said Aisha Bin Bishr, director general at Smart Dubai Office.
Estonia has been using variant forms of blockchain and distributed ledger technology in an initiative to keep track of their citizenry. In 2014, Estonia launched its e-residency program, which allowed participating members to receive an e-resident smart card. The program allows e-residents access to services such as company information, banking, transaction processing information, as well as taxation, and sign documents electronically.
Concerns over privacy and mass surveillance
Security and public safety components are naturally a concern for any city. When you look at the data, it becomes apparent that the cities which implement smart city technology enjoy many benefits from it.
However, the benefits obtained from smart city technology are built upon constant robust data streams captured and aggregated by a host of sensors, as well as cameras and tracking applications — various technologies which are necessary in providing fast and efficient optimization.
Without dependent technologies, smart cities could hardly provide something new and innovative designed to make lives simpler and safer.
For example, Amazon’s Alexa, a smart home virtual assistant speaker, became instrumental during a murder investigation in Hallandale Beach, Florida, in late 2019. Police used a search warrant to obtain Alexa recordings from two Echo Dot’s. With a device like this to be set in a continuous listening mode with recording capabilities that can be accessed by third-parties on a much grander scale, smart cities will be faced with the responsibility to determine whether public safety ends and privacy violations begin.
On the streets of Moscow earlier this year, live facial recognition cameras were introduced “on a massive scale.” The report went public after London already released news that it is integrating live facial recognition technology into the daily activities of the police, along with the Metropolitan Police department setting up camera systems in busy tourist and shopping locations to spot people who are “wanted for serious and violent offences.”
Last year, the use of facial recognition technology used by city agencies and police departments was banned in Oakland, making it the third city in the U.S. to issue such a prohibition, behind such cities like San Francisco and Somerville, Massachusetts.
The more IoT connected devices grow on the smart city grid, the greater the risk will likely be to privacy. People everywhere have a liberty interest concern that their data being shared to access services across the digital grid could potentially be compromised and stolen in the event of a network attack by threat actors.
But this isn’t the only concern. Surveillance capitalism is also a threat to individual privacy. People are already battling with meta data and intelligence companies along with the government entities over broad reaching domestic surveillance.
Reichental admitted that it is fair to be concerned about privacy and surveillance issues, especially given that in recent years, there have been plenty of examples when governments took advantage of people’s personal data, without their consent.
Since we live in the digital era, with a lot of personal information gathered by third parties, governments apparently should develop relevant laws and rules to provide city leaders and service providers with an understanding of what is permissible and what is not. This would ensure that personal data is managed in an ethical way. Elaborating further on the issue, Reichental said:
“Smart cities are not about surveillance. There is unfortunately a believe by some people and sadly it’s been validated in some places, that smart cities are about cameras monitoring people, about systems that intrude on people’s privacy, and so we’ve got to be really on top of this problem. And not only the potential problem, but also the perception that smart cities are about control and intrusion of privacy. In reality, smart cities are about quality of life, they’re focused on not only technologies, but things like green spaces, and doing things that are good for the environment and making sure people have access to education and health and clean water. 99% of smart city efforts are really focused on doing good things and helping people.”
Apparently, the time table for cities to undertake this initiative is going to be multiple decades in the making before anyone can actually see real results from this endeavor. However, enlarging the scope of digital services in society can drastically transform a city into a more attractive environment for the people who live there.
Litecoin, Monero, Ethereum Classic Price Analysis: 17 May
The Bitcoin market has been on a downtrend and the altcoin market has been mirroring its losses. The markets of Litecoin [LTC], Monero [XMR], and Ethereum Classic [ETC] have been highlighting a similar downtrend while also trying to recover in the short term.
The above chart of Litecoin [LTC] suggested that its value plummeted by 17% within 16-hours. This loss was from $325 to $267. However, after the 17% drop, the LTC value recovered and was now trading at $289.10.
The digital asset has been moving towards immediate resistance at $297.26 but there was evident bearishness in the market due to the fall. As the price slipped low, relative strength index was suggesting that the asset had entered the oversold zone, but this price posed a buying opportunity for others. This buying pressure that was created has pushed the digital asset into a near-equilibrium zone.
The price hangs around the $288-range and the traders may want to be more vigilant as the momentum shifts.
Unlike the Litecoin market, Monero [XMR] market was noting a rise in volatility. The sudden plunge in price pushed LTC from $391 to under $345. Even after recovering to $365, resistance at this level pushed the price once again lower. At the time of press, LTC was trading at $361.
The rise in volatility was indicated by the divergence of Bollinger bands, while the signal line was also plummeting. This suggested that the recent price action has paved the way for the bearishness and as LTC tried to stabilize at the current price, the relative strength index noted that the selling pressure had also increased as it hit 38. Meanwhile, negative momentum was adding to the falling price of LTC.
Ethereum Classic [ETC]
The Etheruem Classic [ETC] price was not as impacted as other alts, thanks to its hard fork Ethereum [ETH]. The ETC price dropped by 19% but managed to recover by 15%. The loss carried ETC value from $110 to 80, but as the market recovers, this value has been pushed to $91.
With the wild price movement, Bollinger bands were noted to converge, which meant that volatility was reducing. As the price surged past the $89 resistance, the market was trying to hold on to this price level. This was also indicated by RSI which was at 47, close to equilibrium. This meant that the buying and the selling pressures were evenly matched. However, the momentum has remained negative.
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Price analysis 5/17: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, DOGE, XRP, DOT, BCH, LTC, UNI
Bitcoin (BTC) plummeted to an intraday low near $42,000 today, dropping 35% from its all-time high at $64,849.27. Over the weekend the selling intensified as news that Tesla may have sold its Bitcoin holdings made waves, and even after this was proven to be untrue, Bitcoin’s market dominance had still been pulled down to a three-year low below 40%.
While this decline in Bitcoin may have scared new investors, stock-to-flow creator PlanB said the performance of the current bull phase is still better than the 2017 bull run. PlanB also warned investors to expect several 30% dips during Bitcoin’s climb to a new all-time high.
Although the long-term story remains intact, the sharp bearish moves in Bitcoin on every minor negative news tidbit suggest nervousness among investors. The lack of a sharp recovery even after Elon Musk’s clarification that “Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin” suggests investors are not buying aggressively on positive news.
Will Bitcoin’s weakness stall the altcoin season or is Bitcoin getting ready for a sharp relief rally? Let’s analyze the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.
Bitcoin broke below the neckline of the head and shoulders pattern on May 16 but the bears could not achieve a close below it. By the end of the day, the price rebounded and closed above the neckline.
However, the selling resumed today and the bears have pulled the price below the neckline. If the BTC/USDT pair closes below the neckline, the head and shoulders pattern will complete.
If the bulls do not push the price back above the neckline quickly, the selling is likely to intensify further. The pair could then start its decline toward the pattern target at $31,653.73.
The downsloping 20-day exponential moving average ($52,265) and the relative strength index (RSI) in the oversold territory indicate the bears have the upper hand.
Any pullback is likely to face stiff resistance at the 20-day EMA. This negative view will invalidate if the bulls push the price above the stiff overhead resistance at $60,000.
Ether (ETH) is correcting the sharp uptrend of the past few days. The price dipped below the 20-day EMA ($3,431) today but the bulls are trying to arrest the decline near the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $3,195.98.
If the price rebounds off the current level and rises above $3,600, the bulls will try to push the price to $4,200. However, the 20-day EMA has flattened out and the RSI has dropped near the midpoint, suggesting the bullish momentum may be weakening.
If the buyers fail to defend the $3,195.98 support, the decline could extend to the next support at the 50-day simple moving average ($2,709). Such a deep fall is likely to delay the start of the next leg of the uptrend.
Binance Coin (BNB) broke below the 50-day SMA ($520) for the first time since Dec. 13. The 20-day EMA ($585) has started to turn down and the RSI has slipped below 42, suggesting the bears are trying to gain the upper hand.
If the current recovery turns down from the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that traders are closing their positions on rallies. That will increase the possibility of a break below $480. If that happens, the BNB/USDT pair may drop to $428 and then to $348.70.
The first sign of strength will be a breakout and close above $615. Such a move will suggest that the correction is over and the pair may be ready to resume the uptrend. A breakout and close above $691.77 could start the next leg of the uptrend that may reach $796.64.
Cardano (ADA) is in a strong uptrend. It reached a new all-time high at $2.34 on May 16 where profit-booking set in. If the price breaks below $1.95, the altcoin may drop to the 20-day EMA ($1.71).
A strong rebound off the 20-day EMA will suggest the sentiment remains bullish and traders are buying on dips. On the contrary, a break below the 20-day EMA will indicate that supply exceeds demand and that may pull the price down to the 50-day SMA ($1.39).
Instead, if the price turns up from the current level and rises above $2.34, the ADA/USDT pair may resume its uptrend. The next target objective on the upside is $2.82 and then $3. The rising moving averages and the RSI above 63 indicate the path of least resistance is to the upside.
The bulls are currently attempting to defend the 20-day EMA ($0.46). If they succeed, Dogecoin (DOGE) could move up to $0.59 where the bulls are likely to encounter stiff resistance from the bears.
If the price turns down from $0.59, the possibility of a break below the 20-day EMA increases. If that happens, the DOGE/USDT pair could drop to the critical support at $0.35. A strong rebound off this support could keep the pair range-bound between $0.35 and $0.59 for a few days.
Contrary to this assumption, if the bulls drive the price above $0.59, the pair may retest the all-time high at $0.73. A breakout of this resistance could start the next leg of the uptrend that may reach $0.83 and then $1.
The bulls purchased the dip to the support line of the symmetrical triangle today, indicating buying at lower levels. The buyers will now try to propel XRP above the resistance line of the triangle.
If they succeed, the XRP/USDT pair could pick up momentum and rally to the 52-week high at $1.96.This level may act as stiff resistance but if the bulls can overcome it, the pair may rally to $2.68.
The flat 20-day EMA ($1.43) and the RSI above 53 do not signal a clear advantage to the bulls. If the price turns down from the resistance line of the triangle, the pair may extend its stay inside the triangle for a few more days.
The trend will turn in favor of the bears if the price breaks below the triangle. That could result in a decline to $0.88.
Polkadot (DOT) broke out of the $44 overhead resistance on May 14 but the bulls could not sustain the higher levels. The bears pulled the price back below the breakout level at $44 on May 15.
The 20-day EMA ($39.34) is flattening out and the RSI is near the midpoint, suggesting the range-bound action may continue for a few more days.
A break below $32.50 could open the gates for a decline to the critical support at $26.50. A bounce off this support will suggest accumulation at lower levels.
On the other hand, if the price rises from the current level and breaks above $44, it will suggest that sentiment remains positive and the bulls continue to buy at lower levels. That will increase the possibility of a retest of the all-time high at $49.78.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) broke and closed below the 20-day EMA ($1,178) on May 15. The bulls attempted to push the price back above the 20-day EMA on May 16 but failed to sustain the higher levels. This led to further selling today and the price dipped to the psychological level at $1,000.
The bulls are currently attempting to defend the support at $1,000. However, any relief rally from the current level is likely to face stiff resistance at the 20-day EMA ($1,170) and then at $1,362.74.
If the price turns down from this level, the BCH/USDT pair may remain range-bound for a few days.
This neutral view will invalidate if the pair continues lower and breaks below the 50-day SMA ($922). Such a move could open the doors for a further decline to $700. The trend may favor the bulls on a break and close above $1,362.74.
The failure of the bulls to build upon the breakout of the ascending broadening wedge formation could have attracted aggressive profit-booking from short-term traders. This pulled Litecoin (LTC) to the 20-day EMA ($308) on May 12.
Although the bulls attempted a recovery on May 13 and 14, the rebound fizzled out at $339.10. The selling resumed on May 15 and sent the LTC/USDT pair below the 20-day EMA.
Today, the bulls are attempting to defend the 50-day SMA ($270). However, the 20-day EMA has started to slope down and the RSI is below 45, suggesting the bears are trying to make a comeback.
If the pair breaks below the 50-day SMA, the selling could intensify and the pair may drop to the support line of the wedge. This negative view will be negated if the bulls push the price above $340.
Uniswap (UNI) broke below the support line of the ascending channel today but the bears could not capitalize on this weakness. The bulls are currently attempting to push the price back into the channel.
However, the 20-day EMA ($37.72) has started to turn down and the RSI has dipped into the negative territory, suggesting the bears have a slight advantage. If the price closes below the channel, it will indicate a possible change in trend.
The UNI/USDT pair could then drop to the $27.50 to $25 support zone and then to $20. This negative view will invalidate if the buyers propel the price above $40.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.
‘Cash, candy or Bitcoin’: Paying minors in 2021
A Bloomberg contributor will be paying his son Bitcoin in exchange for chores above and beyond his usual scope, but he is seemingly unable to decide on the best means of payment.
In an opinion piece today, Eddie Yoon said he would pay his seventh grader 0.00055 Bitcoin (BTC) — roughly $23.50 at the time of publication — for the boy helping him with competitive pricing benchmarking for a rental property. Yoon said he gave his son Luke a choice of “cash, candy, or Bitcoin” for the work, closing the deal with a handshake.
According to the Bloomberg contributor, the move was based on giving his children a role in their own financial decisions rather than jumping in on any craze. He said he helped Luke purchase Tesla stock in 2016 and his daughters buy into Apple and Alphabet.
“We’ve told our kids that we will fund any investment that we collectively agree on between now and the age of 25,” said Yoon. “We don’t plan to leave them an inheritance, so we want them to be equipped for a future in which their own investments give them financial security.”
Yoon added that he has “yet to figure out which cryptocurrency platform allows minors to open accounts.” There are few, if any, laws that prohibit children under the age of 18 from HOLDing or trading cryptocurrency, but many exchanges still require verification to ensure their users are of legal age. Alternatively, adults can gift minors crypto with paper wallets or through Bitcoin ATMs.
“We don’t want our kids to necessarily beat the market. We want our kids to be able to think independently about money. We want them to manage their money, not let it manage them. We want them to find the right balance between ignorance and obsession with money.”
Though many children — and adults — may not always be able to understand the complexities of the market, some crypto enthusiasts have already taken the first steps toward them becoming more financially educated. Three-year-old Lily Knight, born during the 2017 bull run, meets both criteria by teaching others about crypto and blockchain on her YouTube channel.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a tweet Saturday that he and his 11-year-old son Jake collectively own 3,250 Dogecoin (DOGE) — roughly $1,556 at the time of publication. Cuban previously claimed he used the token for entertainment and financial education.
However, one of the youngest prominent crypto holders is Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s son X Æ A-Xii — pronounced “ex ash eh twelve” — who recently celebrated his first birthday. Musk said he purchased some DOGE for the baby at nine months old, referring to him as a “toddler HODLer.”
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