As the emerging field of blockchain technology continues to evolve and gain traction, more American cities are beginning to explore and implement the applications and opportunities associated with this innovative digitized record keeping. There are endless opportunities for the use of blockchain technology in municipal settings. Here are a just a few ways that many of America’s cities are using the technology to simplify common practices and improve the lives of many residents:

HOMELESS POPULATION ASSISTANCE: The city of Austin, Texas is currently piloting an innovative blockchain technology designed to identify and track the growing homeless population in an effort to provide crucial assistance programs and services to the people.

MICROGRID IMPLEMENTATION: Blockchain technology has the capacity to implement microgrids on a macro scale, allowing people and communities to sell and exchange energy sources. This implementation would open more lines of sustainable energy while lowering emissions and saving countless amounts of money both on the corporate and consumer scale.

NEW VOTING TECHNOLOGIES: The last few national presidential elections have been plagued with controversy relating to insecure ballots and voter fraud. Blockchain technology has the capacity to vastly improve the security and ease of which voter can cast their ballot electronically, saving time and encouraging participation. Encouraging voter participation is especially important given the country’s tendency to not participate in elections. Experts hope that by making it easier to vote in a digital way, voter turnout will increase exponentially. In addition, the use of this technology in voting will provide real-time results, as opposed to today’s elections which can often take days to tally and report.

CREDIT BUILDING: Even in today’s digital world, there are still a great amount of people who do not have a bank account. The use of blockchain technology will encourage these people to use electronic currency in an effort to build credit and more effectively track financial transactions.

When examining the many uses that blockchain technology can potentially provide to American citizens, it becomes apparent that this innovation goes far beyond its cryptocurrency roots. By making cities more inclusive and providing equal opportunity to all residents regardless of demographics, both corporate livelihood and personal lives will be improved in the process. It is exciting just to imagine how much life would change if each of the above predictions would be implemented. For now, though, only time will tell.