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Massachusetts Explores Opportunities Around Blockchain

Award from the Innovation Institute at MassTech to launch Blockchain Education for Government Innovators

The Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, together with key thought leaders from the region, has launched a new training program on blockchain technology targeted at government innovators, demonstrating the Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting the blockchain revolution.

Blockchain technology has been recognized as one of the key emerging sectors to further strengthen the Massachusetts technology and innovation economy by the Baker-Polito Administration. Blockchain was included as a key sector in the state’s 2020 economic development bill, along with other emerging fields such as fintech, robotics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. While blockchain is best known as the technology behind bitcoin, it is increasingly being used in a variety of applications, from tracking the spread of Covid-19 to the creation of more efficient and transparent global supply chains.

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“Leading the development of new technologies is a fundamental part of growing the Massachusetts economy, and that includes blockchain,” said Damon Cox, Assistant Secretary of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. “With our rich and diverse innovation ecosystem, we are well-positioned to become a leading destination for blockchain companies of all sizes.”

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As with any new transformational technology, education and building awareness are crucial steps to understanding the opportunities that blockchain provides. In this virtual education series, government leaders throughout the Commonwealth will learn the fundamentals of blockchain technology, real-life applications from other governments around the world, and specific applications that can be used during this time of rapid financial and political change. The first of three educational sessions were held in May, while a second session is scheduled for the end of July. The third session is in the early stages of planning and scheduling. During the sessions, participants learn how to identify new opportunities for blockchain to streamline government processes, create efficiencies, and ultimately generate new jobs in the Massachusetts economy.

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“A fundamental understanding and awareness of the capabilities and attributes of any new emerging technology are a conditioned precedent to any adoption strategy,” said Pat Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “We are pleased with the opportunity to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology through this awareness and education campaign for enlightened municipal leaders being conducted by the local blockchain community.”

Media Shower, a Boston-based media and communications company, was awarded a $31,500 grant from the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to run the training sessions. Media Shower works to connect local blockchain companies, investors, and enthusiasts. The company’s flagship publication, Bitcoin Market Journal, is one of the major independent online news sources devoted exclusively to blockchain investors. The blockchain experts at Media Shower are actively engaged in the Boston Blockchain Association, a community of innovators, collaborators, and entrepreneurs with a mission to build an ecosystem that supports and educates on blockchain technology, and establishes Greater Boston as an international blockchain hub.

“Blockchain sits at the intersection of finance and technology, just like Massachusetts,” said John Hargrave, CEO of Media Shower. “This partnership will power our next wave of financial growth and technology jobs.”

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