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Blockchain for City Government

Exploring blockchain, smart contracts, and Web 3.0 technologies as tools for solving City challenges and improving service delivery.


One of the roles of the chief information officer (CIO) for Philadelphia is tech strategy. Tech strategy is an active process of assessing the landscape of technology, understanding how the city government’s lines of business can benefit from these changes, and figuring out a path for engaging partners in piloting, testing, funding, and adopting new tech—when it adds value.

It’s for this reason that the office of the CIO is starting an initiative to examine crypto technology’s potential use within city government.

The discovery process

The office of the CIO’s discovery process will entail informal conversations with blockchain and smart contract technologists from Philadelphia and beyond.

Conversations will also include policymakers at city or state agencies who are already working on or exploring crypto technology. Where there is strong alignment, the discovery process might lead to a demonstration project through the SmartCityPHL Pitch & Pilot program.

These are only possibilities. This discovery process is a signal to innovators in these technologies that the City of Philadelphia's Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) is ready to explore potential projects that are of value to big city government public services and operations.


1234 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Email mark.wheeler@phila.gov

Understanding Web 3.0

Web 3.0 and crypto are very broad terms. At its core, crypto solves for a high level of security and certainty needed when running digital transactions, especially those involving money or digital assets (another broad term).

Web 3.0 is a set of information technologies that emerged with great interest in the late 2000s. This combined the tools of cryptography with innovations in digital ledgers known as blockchains, software-enforced “smart” contracts, and the ability to run these tools across a decentralized network of computers, thanks to the widespread availability of broadband.

Perhaps the most pivotal innovation is the means of achieving consensus on which transactions could be executed, and in what order, on a decentralized network. The implications are that the means and mode of transactions are not centralized or owned by a single entity, and that digital assets may be privately, securely held by the creator of the assets or data.

For a better understanding of blockchain, smart contracts, and related Web 3.0 technologies, see the resources section below.