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Blockchain in Digital Vienna - Technology of an innovative administration


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The City of Vienna sees tremendous opportunities for the future of the administrative administration in the currently much discussed Blockchain technology. Transparency, openness and participation are the leading motifs for our thoughts and actions concerning the digitization of the city. These so-called ‚Viennese principles‘ are supported by the use of blockchain technology.

The City of Vienna has therefore decided to actively use blockchain technology for the first time.

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Blockchain in Digital Vienna - Technology of an innovative administration

  1. 1. Blockchain in the City of Vienna Technology of a innovative administration January 2017 Chief Executive Office of the Vienna City Administration Executive Group for Organisation and Security Group Process Management and ICT-Strategy
  2. 2. 2 Blockchain: Hype or Revolution? Bild: Kepayo; CC BY SA-3.0
  3. 3. 3 Blockchain: Potential and Vision Dependence on trusted 3rd parties is replaced with algorithm-based, distributed technology-infrastructure Potential: Blockchain-technology transforms business and administrative processes Vision: A world without trusted 3rd parties and central intermediaries. Blockchain transforms our conception of property and trust, our way of doing business action – transformation and decentralization of our economy an society Substantial component of the web3 (decentralized web, autonomous web)
  4. 4. 4 Blockchain replaces trust with technology Today, central intermediaries are vital to the system, shifting value and power Two strangers engage in a transaction Since they do not know/trust each other, they have to rely an implicitly trusted intermediary Value is exchanged through this intermediary, which requires both time and money Blockchain holds the potential to replace central intermediaries by code, eliminating the need for a guarantor  Time-stamped transactions  Strong cryptography  Immutable through consensus validation  Distributed network = no single point of failure  Network can be public or private Transaction Trust Trust Blockchain 1 22 Transaction TrustTrust Central intermediary 1 2 3 2 1 3 2
  5. 5. 5 Public sector & Blockchain: threat or chance? Decentralization and public administration: a contradiction?  Repositioning process of the state and its institutions Blockchain offers new technological possibilities to establish more transparency, efficiency an trust in administrative processes
  6. 6. 6 Digital City Vienna IT companies and the city of Vienna collaborate to promote the smart city Vienna as a hotspot for digital industries Focus and main projects: o Digital Days ( 3rd to 4th October 2018) o Networking, communication, event cooperation, project management (monthly meetings) o Education-initiative o Women in the IT („Digital Saloon“) o 60+ citizens o Refugees-initiative o Digital Agenda Vienna o „Industry Meets Makers“ o IT-Security and crisis prevention o IoT, Big Data, KI, Blockchain…
  7. 7. 7 Blockchain in the Digital City Vienna: a question of positioning Vienna, February 2017: Eventhorizon2017 – first global summit on Blockchain Technology in the Energy Sector with over 500 participants from 36 countries After this successful event the Digital City Vienna intensifies – under the leadership of CTO Ulrike Huemer – the elaboration of its Blockchain-position in Europe and the world How the Digital City Vienna could handle the Blockchain Technology o Use it for own processes o Proactive co-designing and promotion of developments o Prohibition (hardly practicable because of the decentralized nature of the Blockchain Technology) o Passive approach – toleration and acceptance
  8. 8. 8 The Digital City Vienna pushes the Blockchain Technology Thematic focuses Use the Blockchain Technology o Gaining expertise through Pilot-/Lighthouse projects and Sandboxes BlockchainHub Vienna o Network-, know-how- and sparring partner Research funding o Including legal, ethical and social questions
  9. 9. 9 Blockchain-Community in Vienna* Wishes and expectation: o Thematic focuses o Establish Vienna as a „Blockchain location“ o Information, PR and communication o Community Building, networking, pool resources o Sparring partner & and attractive financial funding opportunities Possible thematic focuses: o Energy o Insurance o Transport o Identity *Stakeholder survey, May 2017
  10. 10. 10 Possible use cases for Blockchain Technology within the city administration Legal affairs (Identity, register and Data) o Digital identity and electronic authentication o Land and driving license registers, cadaster, document-safe o Verification and notarization, document-proof o Proof of origin, authenticity, and topicality of data Sustainability and social commitment o Transparency of product-use and -origin o educational institutions / Refugee-Projects Finance o Use and acceptance of cryptocurrencies (Zug/CH) o Insurance
  11. 11. 11 Digitization uses information technology Information and communication technology Change of business models trough process improvement Pervasion of society e.g. working environment, education or leisure
  12. 12. 12 Focusing on citizens and processes Focus on Citizens Focus on processes of the City of Vienna Reducing barriers between citizens and administration Saving effort and time 24/7 administration Focus: product Focus: process What does the citizen need in his/her current life situation? Focus: demand of the citizen in his/her current life situation Result: new or transformed products (and/or) processes What processes of the city administration can be optimized by using new technologies? Focus: saving costs and time Result: transformed processes
  13. 13. 13 Digitalization: dual strategy in the City of Vienna Startingand gettingactive Generalstrategy Implementing and learning Starting idea- and innovation processes Developing a general strategy Action Strategy Realization of ideas e.g. o „Tell us, Vienna“ o Blockchain-Pilots o … Starting idea- and innovation processes learning by doing and improving. Developing a general strategy for digitalization Introducing responsibilities and processes for digitalization Formulating objectives and providing a sufficient budget
  14. 14. 14 Reasons for Blockchain-Pilots The City of Vienna wants to… o Learning by implementing o Use possibilities offered by the Blockchain Technology o Find use cases to optimize processes o Figure out the role of the administration o Settle legal questions o Live open innovation o Innovation through openness & cooperation with economy and science o Link the Blockchain community in Vienna
  15. 15. 15 1st Blockchain-Pilot of the City of Vienna: OGD history and notarization Secure the integrity of OGD (Open Government Data) by unique document identifiers (hash values) in public Blockchains Keep track of document-changes Go live: 14.12.2017
  16. 16. 16 The Blockchain enables reproducible public proof without central authority Public Blockchain Document is created and published online Unique document identifier (SHA256 hash) is inserted in Public Blockchain 1 2 Record is timestamped through Blockchain Network Interested persons are enabled to independently verify the document existed at certain point in time 3 4 City of Vienna - Blockchain Pilot
  17. 17. 17 City of Vienna Blockchain Notarization Pilot Illustration of Use-Case DATA BLOCKCHAIN NOTARIZATION SOLUTION Automated program that checks for new/changed OGD content Hash values (unique, SHA256) of documents are calculated and inserted into public blockchains as proof of existence OGD: Directory of Open Government Data Austria Referenced OGD content: various data & systems (xls, csv, zip files etc.) Show Proof of Document Notarizations to users (interested citizens, journalists etc.) to increase transparency and trust BLOCKCHAIN Document (Hash) Timestamp (Block) Block 9b67e15f271a91f875a2cad [….] 2017-11-02 12:28:36 492792 10e0e9a4c8c78eb4464878 [….] 2017-11-02 12:52:05 492790 Document Notarization Irreversible, tamper-proof evidence that document existed at time of block creation (short intervals, e.g. 10min for BTC) Illustrative Blockchain Records CRAWLER NOTARIZE DOCUMENTS IN BLOCKCHAIN EVIDENCE OF NOTARIZATION CITY OF VIENNA Officially published documents are notarized (with timestamp) on public blockchains City of Vienna - Blockchain Pilot
  18. 18. 18 Solution Architecture Show tamper-proof record of document existence & timestamp to user Notarization Front End Directory of open data Austria (metadata) Document Notarization stored on Blockchain: stores Hash of document as proof of existence at time of block creation; in Pilot four Blockchains used to ensure redundancy Various data & systems (xls, csv, html files) City of Vienna Check OGD inventory for City of Vienna and get content; Python scripts OGD Crawler OGD transaction scripts External validation of proofs; Explorer per Blockchain Blockchain Explorer Public Blockchain for Notarization Existing systems Developed Solution Available infrastructure/applications Store document hashes for Blockchain notarization & fast retrieval from front-end; MongoDB Interface/API for Blockchain access: Submission of transactions into Blockchain; Used for Pilot: Stampery Solution containerized with Docker Blockchain Interface Backend Database Ethereum (ETH) Ethereum Classic (ETC) Bitcoin (BTC) Litecoin (LTC) 1 2 4 3 5 Check Hash of Document, insert in blockchain and database for new documents/edits; Python scripts New OGD integration City of Vienna - Blockchain Pilot
  19. 19. 19 Description of Solution Modules OGD Crawler script checks for new data and changes from the City of Vienna (CoV) ► New Data  generate HASH code and writes in a DB ► Existing Data  generate HASH code and compare with the stored HASH code ► If both HASH codes are the same, do nothing ► If the new HASH codes is different & stable (3x repetition)  write in DB Limited to City of Vienna content at the moment. GIS & Real-Time Data ex Script checks if there is new or updated data if: ► New or update: send transaction with the new HASH to ► Option 1: a 3rd party service provider e.g. stampery ► Option 2: a own API and smart contract ► New: send URL-to (Metadata)  access notarization frontend ► Write back the info in the DB (transaction y/n flag, URL) ► Notarization Front End can be accessed via an URL stored in the Metadata from platform ► From the Frontend a Blockchain Explorer can be accessed ► Store HASH values from documents to compare between different crawl runs ► Store values for fast retrieval from front- end ► Any information can be verified through actual blockchain records Option 1: Use 3rd party service e.g. stampery: • Advantage: faster development, • Disadvantage: depending on third party, less flexible Option 2: Develop own API: • Advantage: flexibility, independent • Disadvantage: Development effort Smart Contract Option 1: If a 3rd party service is used no smart contract necessary. Option 2: If the API is self developed a smart contract is necessary. Has to be kept as simple and short as possible OGD Crawler OGD transaction scripts Notarization Front End Backend Database Blockchain Interface 21 3 4 5 City of Vienna - Blockchain Pilot
  20. 20. 20 Proposal: OGD integration Option 2: Show link to Notarization Front-End Web Application in “Weiterführende Metadaten“ PROOF OPTION 2 OPTION 1 Option 1: If notarization is available (link is avialble in data), display a New Button „Proof“ (or similar) Interface Proposed options how to integrate the document notarization in the OGD web interface ( Data Proposal to add link to Notarization Frontend in field „Weiterführende Metadaten“ – in line with OGD metadata 2.4 City of Vienna - Blockchain Pilot
  21. 21. 21 Project Stage Planning / Next steps OGD Crawler OGD transaction scripts Front End Blockchain Interface (Stampery) Verification OGD go-live (Vienna) Rollout to other AT counties Launch Communication/PR Solution Architecture  Use-Case  Concept / Architecture Implementation Test & Launch Backend DB October November December    OGD integration, design (MA53) & online help/documentation Versioning/Archive 2018 Potential next steps: Email notification for changes Automated update to metadata Communication to Operation Sep 2018    Solution containerization (docker)  Go-Live 14.12.2017 Internal Blockchain Service API* *: as internal service for cross-departmental use   Task completed Task ongoing  City of Vienna - Blockchain Pilot
  22. 22. 22 Check Blockchain Integration in Open Government Portal
  23. 23. 23 Verification in 4 Blockchains
  24. 24. 24 Stampery successfully verified
  25. 25. 25 Example for external validation in Blockchain explorer „Blockcypher“ Transaction-ID Timestamp of the Block Merkle-root (and prefix) 902effafcc818f32ba368112b1fadce96df42b96977f5/
  26. 26. 26 Functioning of the Blockchain interface Public Blockchain  Merkle Path is saved for proof function  External service (stampery) for pilot  Development of internal service? Merkle Tree
  27. 27. 27 2nd Blockchain-Pilot of the City of Vienna Digital food vouchers Daily food vouchers for all employees Settlement with partner restaurants Accounting Employee gets „Food Vouchers Vienna“ Wallet on his/her Smartphone and an own address for voucher Employee discloses his/her wallet address  Food vouchers are disbursed to the wallet. Employee can use food vouchers in partner restaurants
  28. 28. 28 Further Blockchain pilots of the City of Vienna IoT (Internet of Things) security Identification Proof of origin (e.g. control cold chains) Accepting cryptocurrencies Participation Your Blockchain Ideas! Network meeting 12/13/2017 – Community meetings planned
  29. 29. This presentation of the city of vienna is under Attribution 3.0 Austria (CC BY 3.0 AT) license. You must cite the name of the author (City of Vienna) in this manner: „source of data: City of Vienna“ Mag.a Ulrike Huemer Brigitte Lutz, MSc Ing. Bernd Wünschek Open Government – competence center Vienna Digitalization, Data and open innovation We create added value!