It appears that New York City is taking steps in linking the economy to blockchain. The President of the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), James Patchett, is expected to announce today, Monday, May 14, different plans the city holds to establish a blockchain resource center, while also announcing a contest to the public, searching for the best ways to use the blockchain technology in the public sector.
AM New York reports that Blockchain, where a public ledger stores and transfers data across a network of computers in a way that cuts out central administrators like banks, has spurred several businesses in the city, fueling an 800 percent increase in job postings between 2015 and 2017, according to Burning Glass. Last year, city-based blockchain businesses attracted more than $199 million in venture capital investments.
“We’re a global leader in finance, real estate, media, and tech — all industries seeing incredible innovation from this new technology,” Patchett said in a statement. “The city is putting a big focus into blockchain to find out how we can grow the industry and make sure it’s creating great opportunities for New Yorkers.”
The city is prepared to spend up to $100,000 supporting the resource center in its first year, according to the EDC. Officials are talking with several blockchain and technology businesses about the hub, which the city says would educate the public about the technology and offer entrepreneurs business support, mentorship and networking opportunities. The resource center could open its doors as early as this summer, the EDC said.
Although the state and federal governments regulate blockchain, the EDC said it would like to use the resource center to get feedback from businesses and consumer advocates about ways to improve the rules — such as simplifying the process for obtaining a Bitcoin license.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.
The EDC is looking to contract with an outside organization on the blockchain competition, which will likely launch in late 2018. The initiative will explore how the technology can expedite city services.
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