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Polish City Introduces Blockchain-based “SmartKey” Which Allows Police To Enter Any Home Without Permission

Olsztyn, Poland will become the world’s first city to leverage the Ethereum blockchain to aid emergency services. Having completed a successful trial run of SmartKey, Olsztyn becomes the first city to leverage blockchain to aid in police, fire, and ambulance services.

SmartKey connects a smart contract to Teltonika smart devices used by local emergency responders. Emergency crews to enter any building in the city or “closed district” without having to track down a key holder or wait for  permission.

“The need for our rescue services to perform their duties without obstruction is a delicate one. The use of blockchain and SmartKey technology seems to be like the perfect solution, giving reassurance to building owners and inhabitants, but also freedom for our emergency services,” said Gustaw Marek Brzezin, the marshall of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship in which Olsztyn is located.

SmartKey contends blockchain technology lays the groundwork for the development of smart cities, which are generally defined as an urban area that leverages emerging technologies and sensors to collect data, which can then be used to manage assets, resources, and services more efficiently. 

“By using the blockchain to allow seamless access to secure areas we can help to save lives,” Szymon Fiedorowicz, CEO of SmartKey. “With this project, we are also bringing to life smart city technology, enabled by smart contracts on the blockchain and this helps to lay the groundwork for smart cities of the future.”

Smart cities are largely based on the Internet of Things, or IoT. The World Economic Forum (WEF) identifies IoT as a central pillar of “urban transformation,” especially after COVID-19. 

“SmartKey’s ultimate vision is to be the enabler for the smart cities of the future, connecting multiple sources of data, via public blockchain, to power transport, utilities and infrastructure, and the Olsztyn pilot is just the first live demonstration,” reads a company press release.

When it comes to technologies like SmartKey, and IoT as a whole, civic-minded discussions around privacy rights, security issues, and risks for an abuse of power are too rare.