FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | 25.07.18
Mayor of open data city – Vilnius, meets the creators of ‘Wallet for your Data’ the Pillar Project.
(Monday 25th July 2018, Vilnius, Lithuania) The Mayor of Vilnius – Remigijus Šimašius spoke at the Pillar #Unconference on Friday 20th July about the emergence of Vilnius as a ‘smart city’, the freedom of personal data and the need for innovative solutions.
More than 500 blockchain enthusiasts, experts and industry leaders gathered at the Pillar Unconference to discuss the future of data, money and technological innovation last week. Friday saw a very special guest take to the main stage, as the Mayor of Vilnius City – Remigijus Šimašius shared his thoughts on why he thinks Vilnius is already one of the ‘smartest’ cities in Europe.
‘If a city is not smart, then it is not fulfilling its mission or function’ – said the Mayor. Every city is designed to bring smart solutions to its inhabitants, so in the Mayor’s opinion, every city is smart in its own way. We have heard a lot about Lithuania’s ambition to be Europe’s HUB for blockchain technology and a hotbed for fintech innovation. Meanwhile, Vilnius has a vision to be the fastest and most open city in Europe, and is a shining example in regards to data.
Opening the municipality’s data was one of the key priorities for a newly elected city council back in 2015. The Municipality published an open data policy document stating that if the data was not sensitive, security wise, and did not contradict with the rules outlined in the new GDPR regulations, it would be made open and available under a ‘no excuse’ policy.
The Mayor said “The availability of data, IT, financial technology, laser, optical and life-sciences are all major areas Vilnius City has explored, it wasn’t an accident that the Blockchain Centre launched in Vilnius. We are going to introduce a citizen card for use on public transport with additional features, implementing blockchain solutions could be a part of it.”
However, he also commented that blockchain technology was a solution looking for problems to solve. He stated that the wheel was invented in South America more than 1500 years ago, but was only used for toys, not as a means of transport. People did have a solution, but didn’t manage to apply it to transportation. According to the mayor, blockchain technology is similar – it is a solution that is looking for a problem to solve.
During the Unconference, The Pillar Project presented the beta version of their Pillar WalletTM. The team at Pillar, headed up by tech entrepreneur and published author – David Siegel, want to put the control of personal data back in the hands of its rightful owner – you. Starting with an open-source wallet to store, transact, and track cryptocurrencies and tokens, the Pillar Wallet will eventually evolve into a decentralised, personal data-management platform.
Go Vilnius, the official development agency of the City of Vilnius were also involved in the making of the Unconference, negotiating originally with Pillar to bring the event to Vilnius and helping with the organisation. Pillar is one of the Blockchain Centre Vilnius’ supporters.
Maybe it’s a perfect fit for Vilnius and its citizens? As the city of open data, such a solution will be required in the near future. The Pillar Unconference and other high profile meetings in Lithuania this year, show that all sides are open to innovate and are working together in pursuit of a brighter future for all.
About Blockchain Centre, Vilnius:
Blockchain Centre (BC) Vilnius is the first blockchain technology centre connecting key stakeholders in Asia, Australia, and Europe. Our goal is to unlock value using blockchain technology in business, finance, and public administration.
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