Why Blockchain and IoT are The Future of American Infrastructure
Blockchain technology is revolutionizing and disrupting various industries, and as we previously discussed on Coin Currency News, blockchain provides many benefits; from increased security, greater transparency and decentralization, to reduced fraud and greater privacy. But while individual industries are benefiting from blockchain implementation, the biggest benefactor could be American infrastructure. Quality infrastructure is critical for economic growth and the last century has demonstrated how innovation in transportation technology has reduced transportation costs, which in turn have increased productivity and quality of life. Healthy economic growth means allocating the right resources in the right places to maximize their value.
To this end, data from the past few decades from the Congressional Budget Office illustrates how public spending by the federal government on infrastructure was 2.5% in 2017, as a percentage of all federal spending. It also shows that this percentage has been fairly constant through the 1980s and 1990s without a large drop in spending. Yet, even if money is being spent it doesn’t guarantee efficiency; infrastructure costs are high in America due to outdated regulations, poor oversight and a flawed bidding process. Blockchain technology can help address those inefficiencies, with the Internet of Things (IoT) playing an essential role in restructuring America’s highway system as well as energy infrastructure.
- America’s Highways Revamped with IoT
As such, the IoT will be playing an essential role in revamping America’s highway system. With the implementation of self-driving cars and fleets, interconnected sensors will connect smart vehicles and roads, with Business Insider noting how this will create a virtual highway on top of the physical highway. The benefit of which will be a highly efficient, safe and a reliable web of connection, vital to America’s transportation lifeline. Additionally, the IoT looks to transform the supply chain by eliminating middle-men, unnecessary delays, and lost supplies. Together with blockchain technology it can efficiently and transparently monitor the supply chain from production to distribution which will save energy, resources and give way to cheaper and more streamlined deliveries.
With blockchain, this highly digitized infrastructure will also be much safer from malicious attacks. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology means that not one single authority is in control and its public ledger means greater transparency and reduced volatility. The vast information flowing through the IoT’ infrastructure will also be safer and more secure, because it cannot be changed or redirected, due to blockchain’s immutable records. Greater efficiency, safety and accountability mean quality infrastructure which inevitably leads to greater economic growth. In the U.S. a key indicator of growth is the Fed’s Beige Book report which offers a window into what policymakers are seeing in their districts. Published eight times per year, the report tracks economic growth as gathered by each of the 12 Fed Reserve Districts and paints a picture of overall economic growth. It is featured on FXCM’s economic calendar of events with the most recent one on March 7. The report prior to that released January 16th indicated slowing growth partially due to a volatile political environment.
As it stands, restoring and rebuilding America’s shambled infrastructure, to good working order, will require much more than the current percentage of spending. Some of the biggest problem areas identified by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) are aviation, roads, highways and transit, among others. The Washington Post claim that the ASCE estimated that an investment of $3.6 trillion will be required by 2020 to restore America’s infrastructure to good working order. As the U.S. looks to rebuild its infrastructure, its highway and road system is the most important aspect to economic growth and one in which blockchain and the IoT could play a pivotal role.