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Cleveland Gets its Own Blockchain Initiative

The city of Cleveland in Ohio is looking to revamp itself as a national tech hub, launching its own blockchain initiative to promote the local industry.

Blockchain evangelist Bernie Moreno recently featured on NPR Morning Edition where he tried to sell the idea to the rest of America: “If you’re going to have a blockchain startup, this is the place you do it… If you’re going to invest in blockchain startups, this is the place I would invest in. If you’re a developer [or] you’re a student who wants to do blockchain development, Cleveland is the place you do it.”

Cleveland is home to several significant blockchain projects, also including Votem, a startup testing the decentralized technology for voting during elections using a mobile phone application.

A ”Blockland Cleveland” is in the works for next month, which Moreno organized with the support of civic leaders

In the nearby Canadian city of Toronto, managing director of the Blockchain Research Institute Hilary Carter backed up Moreno on his plans for Cleveland, saying it is the only city outside of Canada looking to utilize their thought leadership.

She estimated that in order for Cleveland to succeed in its initiative, around 1,000 software developers would be required to start around a dozen local startups. Moreno says he is prepared for this influx, with plans to open a 100,000 square foot campus with a K 12 school to incubate the companies.

Do Clevelanders know blockchain?

But for a potential blockchain hub, the general residents do not have a particularly coherent understanding of the technology.

Waverly Willis, a barber who proudly introduced himself as the first in his profession in the city to accept Bitcoin payments, told NPR “It’s regular blue-collar guys that’s saying, ‘why do I need to know about this stuff?’ And so you need a guy like me to explain it.”

Both Willis and Moreno recognized that a blockchain movement would need to expand beyond academic and business leaders into the general public.


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South Korea Plans Blockchain Youth Development Program

South Korea has announced plans to launch a blockchain-focused training initiative targeted at emerging talent from the country’s younger demographic.

The young participants will benefit from a six-month blockchain and technology training course covering a variety of emerging sectors, with the primary goal being stated at decreasing youth unemployment while matching individuals with job opportunities well suited to them.

The students will be trained in a total of 40 courses including blockchain development, as well as software, hardware, autonomous vehicle and drone modules. Each unit was carefully configured to match the employment personnel needed for the various industries local to South Korea.

A key objective of the plan involves building direct relationships between educational institutions and companies to coordinate an advantageous cooperation of building the skill sets that employers need from prospective employees.

In a press release on Thursday, the ministry called for a demand of future employees to participate from the beginning of the project so that the most effective outcome is reached.

Software policy officer at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, Young-Kyung Won, noted that while unemployment of the younger generation is becoming a social problem, job mismatch is also becoming a serious issue in the country.

Through an innovative approach to fostering talent, Young-Kyung hopes that companies’ level of vision can be matched by the youths alongside developing better support networks to match them with and offer them job opportunities.

The government-led 2018 Innovative Growing Youth Talent Concentration Project has been organized collaboratively by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion. Recruitment and selection events were held by local governments between 11 June and 10 July.

Individual trainees will be chosen through the month of August via self-selection criteria at each educational facility. The course is scheduled to begin mid-September.


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