As an organization, DigitalTown has set itself some lofty goals. It aims to put every city in the world on a blockchain, and in doing so ensure that blockchain technology takes its place in history as a technology for good. Blockchain is the natural platform for civic computing. It should enhance the lives of the many, not the few, co-creating quality of life.

DigitalTown is working with a network of communities around the world to introduce self-funding platforms that are locally governed and locally owned, where residents and visitors search, connect, share and transact locally and directly. …


The two most popular blockchain platforms, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are slow and expensive. The latest estimate from digiconomist.net shows that the rate at which Bitcoin alone consumes electricity is equivalent to the amount required to power 6,012,845 US households, or to put that another way, the US State of Missouri.

Bitcoin and Ethereum currently use a method called Proof of Work (PoW) to determine who writes the next block to the blockchain. It’s a competition with a financial reward. Each block is a new race and the first past the post wins the prize. …


While speaking at a blockchain event in Seattle recently I was asked to predict where blockchain technology would make its next big impact. My answer was Identity. As CTO of DigitalTown, identity is something I currently spend a lot of time thinking about.

Blockchain is considered by many as the missing piece to what is known as Self-Sovereign Identity: Individual control, security, and full portability of an identity. It enables us to move from the model where organizations store our identity data on central servers that they control, to each of us maintaining our own identity data on devices we…


Most of the people who will read this article will have never visited a homeless shelter and will never experience being homeless. The picture I selected to accompany this post has reinforced the common view of homelessness as being people sleeping in doorways or on park benches. In fact, homelessness is simply not being able to afford housing. A homeless person could be sleeping on the street, but they could equally be moving between the homes of friends and relatives or living in their car. It’s also a myth that all homeless people are unemployed. …


I was forwarded an article this week that included an honest appraisal of launching a new product on the Ethereum platform. The initial benefits of selecting Ethereum are clear, it offers a layer of abstraction and simplification over blockchain technology, while providing the scale required for security. But there are also downsides to building on this shared platform. As a result of their experience, the company is the article is now contemplating a move to an alternative technology, and they are not the only ones. A change in technology will represent a costly delay of investment in their products growth.


I recently read an article about .ETH, an initiative outside the existing domain industry which is aimed at providing people with simple Ethereum addresses. The article also talked about district0x, who offer an intriguing platform on which a solution for purchasing these new addresses has been built. Following a number of good conversations recently about DNS and Blockchain it seems like a perfect time to capture my thoughts.

Through the adoption of the new Top Level Domains (TLD) such as .CITY, .LAW and .WORK there is a shift from the traditional .COM domains to what is called the ‘Descriptive Internet’…


2017 was the breakout year for Blockchain and its benefits and current limitations are now well understood. 2018 will see distributed applications drive the next wave of Blockchain innovation.

Just as we moved the Company Datacenter to the Cloud, we will gradually move from the Cloud to distributed applications built on Blockchain technology. A shift primarily driven by a demand for increased control over personal data security, we will build our networks of friends, family and business contacts, and our data will securely reside on the devices that form the network.

These new distributed applications will not run on desktop…


It’s over 10 years since Google bought DoubleClick the online advertising company for a reported $3.1 billion. It is estimated that in 2017 US companies will have spent over $200 Billion dollars on online advertising — all just to get our attention.

Everything we buy online today is recorded, analyzed and predictions are made on what we are likely to buy next. Type a few keywords into a search engine and then visit a website with embedded adverts and the targeted advertising will begin. We are grouped into categories based on our browsing history, location*and habits. Applications frequently offer ‘free’…


Despite living very close to a major US city, power outages are a common occurrence in my neighborhood. This is partly because most US power lines are above ground, which when met with high winds, heavy rain and forests result in the inevitable outage by tree. It’s also related to how far power travels from its point of generation to the point of consumption. One downed tree can affect thousands of homes.

The investment in residential and commercial solar panels continues at pace, as does the shift from fossil fuel to electric vehicles, the latter funding research that is resulting…


One of the core topics emerging through a number of startups leveraging Blockchain technology is the concept of us owning and controlling access to our personal data, a shift away from data stored on central servers to a decentralized model.

I have often said that if you are not paying for the product then you are the product, and when you consider how accessible analytics and automated marketing tools have become I assure you targeted marketing has no plans to slow down. Putting aside the monetization of your data, I believe that security will be the main driver for change…

Mike Cartwright

CTO, Blockchain evangelist, technologist and problem solver.

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