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Building Blockland: Cleveland first city to partner with Blockchain Research Institute



CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland is the first city where small businesses and nonprofits will have free access to data and research from the Blockchain Research Institute.

The institute, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, announced the partnership with the region at a Greater Cleveland Partnership meeting Thursday morning. The meeting was centered on Cleveland car mogul Bernie Moreno’s Blockchain effort, called “Blockland.”

Moreno hopes to make Cleveland an epicenter for blockchain, an online ledger system best known for hosting Bitcoin and other online currencies.

The Blockchain Research Institute is studying more than 80 projects using blockchain in different areas. The new, hyped technology can be used in many ways, from hosting government data to keeping track of patient records.

Hillary Carter, the managing director of the institute, announced the agreement Thursday to more than 150 people. 

“When the key people in the room are excited and ready to lead… into the next generation of the Internet, the excitement will trickle down,” she said during a question-and-answer session at the meeting. “It happened in Canada.” 

Toronto is a hot-spot for blockchain technology, and efforts in the area are funded by three levels of government. 

Moreno said normally it would cost around $150,000 a year for a Silicon Valley startup to access the stockpile of case studies and data at the Blockchain Research Institute. 

Because of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, JumpStart and the Unify Project, nonprofits and any business in the Northeast Ohio area worth less than $1 billion in market capitalization value can access the data.

The three organizations will split the cost of accessing the data at about $50,000 each. 

Greater Cleveland Partnership president Joe Roman and JumpStart president Ray  Leach flew with Mereno and six other Cleveland leaders to Toronto in June to meet with leaders at the Blockchain Research Institute.

JumpStart will serve as the hub giving people access to the data. Follow the Blockland Facebook page or go to the Blockland website to learn more. 

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