With many states in the US beginning to push various blockchain projects through state legislature, Oregon state in the country’s Northwest has also made a claim to the “blockchain state” handle.
The Oregon Blockchain Venture Studio in Portland has been set up to further this aim, with a number of companies and organizations from the fields of education, business, and technology linking their know-how to push the new tech in the state.
The aim is to specifically target 20 to 30 companies in the state over three years, hosted by digital agency R/GA, while forming a partnership with two state universities, Intel and sports giant Nike. The Venture Studio will also benefit from a USD 250,000 commitment through Business Oregon and the Oregon Growth Board.
The main idea of a studio is to give local companies opportunities similar to those that venture capital might offer. Jeff Gaus of Oregon Blockchain Venture Partners suggests that the “Oregon ethos exactly maps to what is required for blockchain to work”, adding that the state could become “what Pittsburgh is to steel or Detroit is to autos or Seattle to manned flight”.
Selected investors in the studio will contribute USD 3 million a year, each receiving investment capital of USD 100,000. Potential investment dollars will also be available from studio partners.
Although other US states are pushing their own blockchain plans to elevate their profile around the nation, Business Oregon spokesman Nathan Buehler claims that no state has really staked its claim as yet. He feels that Oregon is well placed through its established hardware and software industry to “establish an advantage” over other states.
Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut has recently signed off on a law in that state that will employ a blockchain working group, in order to further study the technology and how it can be utilized in state legislation. It is reported that the governor’s intentions are to make Connecticut “a leader in blockchain technology”.
It appears as though the United States is undergoing radical changes at institutional and governmental levels; in late July, blockchain technology in public sector projects also received a guidebook from a US-based IT industry trade association called CompTIA.
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