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New Jersey Inches Closer to Blockchain Task Force Program

New Jersey inches closer to blockchain

Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey signed bill S2297 on 9 August 2019, to set up the Blockchain Initiative Task Force. The task force is directed towards the examination of the benefits of blockchain-based solutions that can be reaped at the state and local levels.

As per the press release, the task force will analyze the two facets of switching to DLT – risks and opportunities. Along with this, the task force will study different types of blockchain with the potential use-cases which can be extended to New Jersey; and modification of laws for paperless records.

The 14-member task force will have a total of 180 days to present a report on its research before the Governor and the Innovation and Technology Committee. The report will include a detailed account of the practicality of implementing blockchain technology, with an in-depth analysis of cost versus benefits by introducing the same.

Chief Technology Officer of NJ, Chris Reinwho has been appointed as a member of the task force, said:

“I am excited to evaluate and help shape how our state government can best use, and optimize, blockchain technology. The promise it holds could support Governor Murphy’s priorities for efficient government and innovation.”

As reported earlier this year, the Italian Government, after signing a declaration with six other EU states to integrate blockchain into European economies, stepped up its efforts by manning its new blockchain task force with 30 experts. The blockchain industry in New Jersey has also seen a steep rise – projecting about 500 blockchain-based job openings to be bagged by aspirants. is committed to unbiased news and upholding journalistic codes of ethics. For more information please read our Editorial Policy here.

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China Vs USA: Who is Winning the Blockchain Battle?

China Vs USA_ Who is Winning the Blockchain Battle_

China and the US are the superpowers of the 21st century and their respective blockchain innovations have both countries at the top of the technological leaderboard. As the two countries face off in a highly publicized trade war, many people are also looking to see which nation is winning the blockchain battle.

The blockchain jobs on offer

One way of comparing the industries is to examine the blockchain jobs on offer in each country. Right now, it looks like the US has got the upper hand. According to data compiled by The Next Web, nearly half of the related jobs on recruitment site Glassdoor globally were based in the US, followed by the Uk then India.

With the caveat that glassdoor is a US-based company despite hosting international job posts, China had just 42 positions advertised compared to the US’s 2,616.

Notably, the top three employers are IBM with 110 open positions, followed by Ernst & Young, Oracle, and Deloit– all well established corporate giants in the technology world.

Opposing government approaches

Where China may be superior, however, is its government’s commitment to promoting the development of the technology and President Xi Jinping’s open support for blockchain, calling it a ”breakthrough” technology. Following his positive comments, the state-controlled media station CCTV ran a one-hour special explaining that “the value of blockchain is 10 times that of the internet”.

The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, has spearheaded blockchain testing in finance, and there is a general consensus from the experts that when it comes to core technological developments alone, China is beating the US.

China’s rapid industrialization and development as a nation since the 1980s shows just how powerful the government’s commitments have been, as well as demonstrating the benefits of a having heterogenous authoritarian leadership no matter how controversial this concept may be.

The influence of crypto

Neither country has what would be described as pro-cryptocurrency policies, but the Chinese government has taken a much harder stance. Regulations prohibit financial firms holding or trading cryptocurrencies, and while trading platforms were effectively banned in 2018.

In the US many states are also pursuing regulatory efforts to cover cryptocurrency instruments but cryptocurrency trading remains legal, as does holding initial coin offerings unlike in China.

While cryptocurrency only accounts for a percentage of blockchain use cases, the inability of start-ups to explore tokens and digital currency without fear of government intervention sets China back in terms of what blockchain development teams can work with. In mid-April last year, police in Shanghai went so far as to stop an event for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.

There is no clear frontrunner in the blockchain race as it stands, but many pundits are focused on China’s robust development policies and quality of innovations so far despite the US’s upper hand for cryptocurrency.


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Indian Government Plans Blockchain District in Hyderabad

The local government in the Indian state of Hyderabad has partnered with multinational IT services provider Tech Mahindra to create a blockchain district to aid startups.

The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to bring the district to the Telangana state’s capital city, Hyderabad, pushing India’s agenda of advancing technological innovation in the country.

On the early agenda for the project is the construction of buildings for startups and blockchain incubators, with the local government primarily responsible for overseeing the necessary infrastructure. Policies and regulations for the new district will also be delegated to the state’s authorities.

The Telangana IT minister K T Rama Rao expressed positive sentiments about the venture, saying, “We envision to set a benchmark in providing blockchain technology solutions and platforms across industries.”

The blockchain district was described as a ”global talent hub” that hopes to democratize data and solve large-scale problems through blockchain innovations. It is an effort to practically reskill the workforce for the future while pushing for India to become the international blockchain capital.

India-headquartered IT giant Tech Mahindra will be charged with providing technical assistance while helping expand the blockchain ecosystem. In a press release on Friday, Mahindra detailed a project dubbed the Eleven01 protocol, a blockchain platform targetting the individual development of startups which may be utilized by several million individuals.

The protocol aims to eliminate the need for Indian blockchain developers to require foreign technologies while creating the most efficient decentralized applications, creating a localized ecosystem for the industry. The press release cited the blockchain market as being capped at a trillion dollars in the coming years.

Telangana has meanwhile already begun exploring blockchain solutions to digitally rework their land registries in an effort to boost transparency and reduce the number of document forgeries.


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Blockchain-Backed Energy Grid Receives $1 Million US Government Grant

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded a USD 1 million grant to blockchain-backed energy grid company Grid7.

The grant came during the DoE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program as one of 95 businesses that passed the second stage, as announced by the DoE on Monday. Colorado-based Grid7 was chosen for its part in advancing the nations energy security, with the grant intended to fund the project for the following two years.

Grid7 comprises a three-person team, with the business aiming to develop an energy grid backed by blockchain technology for solar power sources. The decentralized nature of the product means that any data can be shared easily from buildings to electric grids, offering an improvement to standard power supply efficiency in a more secure fashion.

Data provided by the SBIR programme shows that Grid7 already benefited from funding that reached approximately USD 150,000 last year, allowing the project to complete the program’s first stage. Startups were required to demonstrate ”technical feasibility for innovations“, as well as provide a prototype during this phase in order to progress.

All together, 80 businesses across 26 states received the remaining capital from the DoE that totaled USD 95 million.

Blockchain in Colorado

Colorado is one of several states in the US that is championing the development of blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the state passed a bill employing blockchain tech in government record keeping and cybersecurity as a way of improving data collection and maintenance processes.

The innovative blockchain news startup partnered with Civil Media Co also began in Colorado last month. The project is looking to overturn corporate and advertising pressures news outlets find themselves subject to, with the hopes of offering ad-free, fake news-free source for readers. Their new model would rely solely on compensation received directly from readers.


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