Building Blockland: What's Next?
Last summer, Bernie Moreno began publicly sharing his vision to make Cleveland a leader in blockchain, a disruptive technology that has the potential to impact banking, real estate, manufacturing, and countless other industries. Progress has been swift. In August, Blockland announced a partnership between JumpStart, Inc. and Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), giving small business and nonprofits access to BRI's data and research. In November, Ohio became the first state to accept cryptocurrency as payment from taxpayers, and, in December, the Cleveland Blockchain Solutions Conference debuted, drawing more than 1,500 people downtown to learn more about the technology and how Cleveland can establish itself as an epicenter for blockchain technology.
Proponents believe that Blockland would bring in large amounts of tech talent, entrepreneurs, and innovators into the region boosting the economy, improving the tax base, and creating jobs. Critics worry that if the effort doesn't change the underlying conditions of the poor in our city and region, it simply won't be the success it should be.
So, what's next for Blockland? Can the region, long-known for its expertise in manufacturing and healthcare, also becoming a tech hub?
Jessica Berg, JD, MPH
Dean, School of Law, Case Western Reserve University
Kevin K. Johnson
Managing Partner, NexGen Interactive, LLC
CEO and Co-Founder, Flashstarts
Monique Umphrey, D.M.
VP of Workforce Innovation & Dean of IT, IT Center of Excellence, Cuyahoga Community College
senior host/producer, ideastream