Blockchain for Smart Cities: A Systematic Literature Review

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We use a systematic literature review methodology to answer the following questions pertaining to smart cities and blockchain: (i) Why was blockchain chosen as the solution? (ii) What blockchains are being considered for use in smart cities and why? and (iii) What blockchain based applications are being researched for smart cities? Our results - based on 45 peer-reviewed academic studies all published in journals that met pre-defined search criteria - show that increased security, privacy, and trust are the reasons most cited in the literature for the use of blockchain for smart cities. Consortium, Hybrid, Private, and Public blockchains are discussed with respect to their suitability for smart cities applications, and finally, we discuss smart cities blockchain applications from the literature using a taxonomy based on the framework defined by Silva et al. [40]. In conclusion, this study highlights the current blockchain challenges and future research opportunities, including the need to change the current mindset of centralized control and trusted third parties to a more participative engagement model across smart cities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Systems - 17th European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Conference, EMCIS 2020, Proceedings
EditorsMarinos Themistocleous, Maria Papadaki, Muhammad Mustafa Kamal
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783030633950
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event17th European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems, EMCIS 2020 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 25 Nov 202026 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
ISSN (Print)1865-1348
ISSN (Electronic)1865-1356


Conference17th European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems, EMCIS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


  • Blockchain
  • Decentralization
  • Distributed ledger technology (DLT)
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Sharing economy
  • Smart cities, blockchain
  • Smart contracts
  • Systematic literature review


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