Category Archives: New York City Economic Development Corporation

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Ohio Joins US State Level Blockchain Goldrush

The US state of Ohio is following other states in showing interest in blockchain technology and how it can be applied to the economy in that state.

At a press conference on August 23, Speaker of the Ohio House Ryan Smith assembled members of the House leadership and Ohio’s general assembly along with representations from the law, business, and academic sectors to discuss possible implementation.

The state is not new to the concept, having passed an amendment to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act earlier this year adding, “a record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record,” thus providing a safe harbour for the emerging technology.

Ohio is certainly not the first US state to take this route as Nebraska, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Vermont, along with Maine, Hawaii, Illinois, and North Dakota are some of the many US states notably either in the process of presenting bills, enacting legislation or actively utilizing blockchain in state legislation.

Speaker Smith suggested that DLT would have numerous applications in the state and cited common storage requirements such as securing birth certificates and marriage licenses as a simple case in point. His aim is to work with universities so that students are encouraged to become involved in the new technology early on, thus helping them secure work for the future and bring their expertise to the State.

Smith is not the first though, to suggest his or her state as a possible blockchain hub. New York earlier this year set its sights on the same target when the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced several initiatives that pursue ambitions of becoming a blockchain technology hub. The state has rather set out its stall for the title given that the NYCED holds the annual New York Blockchain Week there with crypto events all over the city attracting big names in the industry as guest speakers.

However, Smith is optimistic, suggesting, “Because this is so new and this is just beginning to take shape, we can position Ohio out front.”

Time will tell, but the state rush to become a leader in blockchain adoption is very much on.

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New York Pursues Initiatives to Become Blockchain Industry Hub

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced on Monday several initiatives that pursue ambitions of becoming a blockchain technology hub.

In time for NY Blockchain Week

With Blockchain Week now underway in New York, city leaders have announced details of their plans for the municipality. The most significant is the development of what is being called a Blockchain Center. This would be purpose-built to educate and raise awareness of the technology, while also providing a space for industry stakeholders to convene.

New York Sate’s BitLicense regulations have received much criticism on the grounds of contributing to a hostile policy stance that has been driving away startups. Should the center be assembled as planned, it would promote a positive regulatory environment for the state, addressing the issues caused by the BitLicense regulations.

In another part of the blockchain initiative, NYCEDC co-sponsored a hackathon in Times Square over the weekend. Participants competed to find blockchain-based solutions for tracking food supplies for farmers markets, similar to the trending real-world use of blockchain in the food supply chain.

The proposal from city leaders also presented plans to launch a competition towards the end of the year, with candidates supplying their own innovations regarding the use of blockchain technology within New York’s service sectors.

The NYCEDC is also a co-sponsor of New York Blockchain Week, alongside cryptocurrency news outlet CoinDesk. The events offered around the city include the Consensus Conference, with lectures held by prominent industry figures, and a free job fair on Wednesday at the Hilton, Midtown.

NYCEDC VP Karen Bhatia spoke out on her ambitions for the city, and the potential industries blockchain could prove a beneficiary of. “We saw an opportunity to be at the forefront of experimentation in blockchain as sustaining more of a foothold,” she said.

Addressing the issue of regulations holding back the development of the blockchain industry in the city, Bhatia anticipated several heated debates in the forthcoming week. As she sees it, this is an opportunity to ‘‘sit down and have a real discussion about how these regulations are affecting innovation and entrepreneurship in New York City“.


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