State of Ohio Looks to Become the United States Blockchain Hub

The United States has gotten blockchain fever. As the technology continues to dominate the financial technology industry, it has become clear that the blockchain is the likely future of financial transaction and data management. Consequently, the race is on for governments all over the United States to entice the thousands of budding blockchain startups in the country to lay their roots down within their state’s borders. The expansion of a blockchain “hub” in any one state could be monumental, increasing economic engagement and technology access for millions while generating crazy revenue.

The front-runners were initially obvious. Silicon Valley, the California host of some of the biggest technological breakthroughs in the modern era, has been especially receptive to blockchain technology, as well as the opportunities that it brings. Additionally, New York has Wall Street, a gaggle of traditional and institutional investors who are becoming increasingly interested in blockchain-related investment opportunities and developed tech.

But a few other states have also thrown their hat into the ring, likely hoping to gain access to the millions of dollars in potential revenue that have been associated with major previous blockchain startup companies. The state of Ohio is one particularly surprising government looking to capitalize by becoming the “blockchain hub” of the United States technological and investment sector.

Legislators Embrace Blockchain

The optimism towards the market officially became clear at an August 23 press conference with Ryan Smith, the Speaker of the House for the Ohio House of Representatives. In the interview, he remarked that the lawmakers in the house are deeply interested in blockchain, but that they would need to figure out several important things before they can actualize their interest in the technology.

Specifically, the speaker highlighted the importance of getting involved in the industry early, citing the changing nature of blockchain technology as a reason that the state should “position Ohio out front.” So far, no specific legislation has been proposed to take steps to attract more blockchain-based businesses to put their roots in the Midwestern state, but lawmakers have made it clear that they are interested in becoming a hub for blockchain technology development.

Another advocacy of the speaker in this particular interview was that the development of a good hub for blockchain technology also requires that post-secondary educational institutions take the extra steps to educate students on the tech before they graduate and hit the job market. Though, once again, there has not yet been a substantive legislative action, the house is clearly interested in taking the state’s relationship with blockchain to the next level.

Regulatory Hurdles

Just as the Speaker of the House outlined, there are several important considerations in the blockchain sector to keep in mind for regulators hoping to capitalize. The biggest obstacles often have to do with the ways that the companies are taxed, the nature of regulation on a decentralized platform, as well as the potential ways that lawmakers can keep close watch on the industry without stunting its growth.

Regardless of the presence of clear obstacles, lawmakers in Ohio have taken the first step in vying for a bid to be the blockchain hub for the United States.

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