New York, New York—a city so nice, they named it twice (via Pixabay).

Blockchain technology will drive digital cities: Report

A new study predicts four technologies, including AI, internet of things, and 5G will have a $721 billion impact on the 60 largest digital cities over a decade

New York City is and will remain the digital capital of the world—and blockchain is one of the technologies that will get it there, according to a new report.

The 2019 Digital Capitals Report found that blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and 5G will drive $721 billion in revenue annually to 60 large cities across the globe by 2029. The report estimated their current value $169 billion annually.

Blockchain technology accounted for about $87 billion of that, or roughly 12%.  AI was the largest, with almost $308 billion. It was followed by IoT ($200 billion) and 5G ($126 billion). 

(Image via Digital Reality)

Released on November 11, the report was commissioned by Digital Reality, a $25 billion data center REIT, and carried out by U.K.-based research firm Development Economics. Unsurprisingly, it focused on data-based technology, but the authors noted that other technologies such as robotics and software would play a part in the growth of major cities’ digital economies. 

“We wanted to… uncover the role cities will play in the future data economy,” said Chris Sharp, CTO of Digital Realty, in a statement. “It’s no surprise that cities like New York, Tokyo and London occupy a lofty position in the report. Not only are they hubs for the highest density of digital commercial activity and digitally-skilled workforces, but also their laser focus on the creation of new digital technologies and applications makes them prime examples of what’s possible in the world’s data economy.”

In terms of dollars, New York City will be the overall winner in a decade’s time, gaining $46.1 billion from the four technologies, the study predicted. It was followed by Shanghai ($42.3), Tokyo ($42 billion), Singapore ($39.3), London ($29.6), and Hong Kong ($29.3).

Shanghai ($6.1 billion), however will lead in blockchain, followed by New York ($5.3 billion), Tokyo ($5.0 billion), Singapore ($4.7 billion), and Paris ($4.1 billion).

(Image via Digital Reality)

That said, there’s more to being a digital capital than just revenue. 

The 60 digital cities were identified as global hubs for digital knowledge creation and commercial activity. Factors such as overall economic size, political stability, businesses’ adoption of digital technology, and the presence of research universities were also taken into account when creating the digital capital rankings.

By that standard, New York is now on top and will remain so in 2029, in the report’s estimation. 

Chinese cities did not fare as well; Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, and San Francisco rounded out the top five in 2019.

That won’t change much in 2029, according to the paper’s forecast. New York will be followed by Los Angeles, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Singapore.

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Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson has put some 401k money into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.