Home / Blockchain / Blockland conference aims to position Cleveland as a blockchain leader

Blockland conference aims to position Cleveland as a blockchain leader

The plan to make Cleveland a center of the budding blockchain technology kicks off Monday, Dec. 3, with a two-day event being called the Blockland Solutions Conference.

The event, which is expected to attract 1,000 attendees, has been promoted by auto dealer and technology entrepreneur Bernie Moreno and others as the kickoff of a plan for Blockland Cleveland, an initiative to “put the region at the forefront of blockchain thought leadership” and to prove that the region can offer technology companies a good home.

“It’s the next generation of the internet,” Moreno told itla.net, the website of the International Legal Technology Association, in August. “We have an amazing opportunity to take advantage of this coming wave of innovation.”

Blockchain is a decentralized digital technology that, its developers and proponents claim, cannot be edited or deleted by anyone but its owner, but that can be available to a large group of people or organizations. Blockchain was developed originally as the accounting system for Bitcoin, a “virtual currency” that allows individual users to manage the exchange of funds just as in a transaction directly with a bank or other middleman.

Skeptics cite concerns that the technology’s slow speed, storage requirements and heavy use of energy will slow its acceptance and use. But those issues, its supporters contend, will be outweighed by its potential to create more secure and transparent transactions.

Though it’s several years away from mainstream adoption, Moreno and others, both here and worldwide, believe blockchain technology will find its first uses in business and government for securely storing such things as driver’s license registrations and medical records.

Moreno has gathered a “governing body” that includes more than 20 prominent Clevelanders to guide the development of this effort, and most are participating in the conference. They come from the region’s businesses, law firms and nonprofits, including Case Western Reserve University, Destination Cleveland and JumpStart Inc.

A key part of the plan to create a blockchain hub in Cleveland is a $150 million Blockland Cleveland incubator, a privately financed business Moreno has said he will build to be a place where would-be blockchain entrepreneurs could come to develop new businesses, making Cleveland an international center for the blockchain technology.

He said the plan is to include a K-8 school on the incubator campus and make the campus accessible to others, including internships for high-schoolers.

“We want to make certain that when we do it right here in Cleveland, that we integrate technology into the fabric of the community,” Moreno said in August, when he announced his plan. “It’s a full-blown community effort of the willing.”

Jon Pinney, managing partner of the Kohrman, Jackson and Krantz law firm and an early recruit to Blockland Cleveland, is leading the effort to find a suitable location and design for the incubator.

Attendees of the conference, 86% of them from Northeast Ohio, according to a conference data sheet, will have the opportunity to hear from 151 speakers at more than 50 sessions, including keynote speeches, panel discussions and case studies on the impact blockchain may have on a variety of industries. Among the speakers is Joseph Lubin, a blockchain pioneer and co-founder of the blockchain computing platform Ethereum.

Perhaps more importantly, though, Moreno and others see this as a shot in the arm for employment in the region. When he kicked off Blockland Cleveland in August, he said he’d like to see the region graduate 1,000 blockchain coders in 2019 (see sidebar).

Preconference workshops begin on Saturday, Dec. 1, with sessions to provide software developers an overview of blockchain technology and give them experience learning to code on several blockchain platforms.

The promoters have lined up 38 sponsors, many of them local. Lead sponsors are KeyBank and Hyland Software Inc. Other local sponsors, or firms with local offices, include Ashland University; Baker & Hostetler LLP; Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP; CardinalCommerce; Case Western Reserve University; the city of Cleveland; Cleveland Clinic; the Cleveland Foundation; Cleveland State University; Cohen & Co.; Cuyahoga Community College; Cuyahoga County; Deloitte; FirstEnergy Corp.; Hardy Wealth Partners/UBS Financial Services; the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society; IBM Corp.; Jones Day; KPMG; McDonald Hopkins Co. LPA; Medical Mutual of Ohio; the MetroHealth System/MCPc; Oswald Cos.; Ownum; PNC Bank; Progressive Insurance; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Skoda Minotti; and Vantage Agora.

Some of the sponsors and other firms have signed on as exhibitors at the conference, and another 34 blockchain and other tech startups will line a “Startup Alley.”


Source link

Check Also

The HTC Exodus 1 ‘Blockchain Phone’ is Here and It’s Underwhelming

This week saw the first reviews of the HTC Exodus 1 blockchain phone, as ‘Genesis …