The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has announced a partnership with venture capital fund Future\Perfect Labs and trade organization Global Blockchain Business Council to help launch the NYC Blockchain Center. The center, which officially opened January 10, will act as both an education resource and a meeting location for "investors, innovators, and academia alike to advance a shared dialogue around how New York can foster a regulatory environment that will support both consumer safety and innovation in blockchain."
NYCEDC, a non-profit corporation that works to promote economic growth throughout New York City, plans to have the new center provide educational opportunities for both developers and the general public. ETHNews spoke with Karen Bhatia, vice president of creative and applied tech at the NYCEDC, in May 2018 when the project was first announced. Bhatia emphasized the center's role in fostering creativity and communication between government leaders and community members by holding open discussions around regulations such as New York's BitLicense law. She also noted that having a resource for the general public to learn about blockchain technology is crucial for mass adoption.
The announcement also touches on this year's NYC BigApps Blockchain Challege. Launched in 2009, NYC BigApps is a series of public competitions that tasks New York City's technology innovators to develop solutions that address civil and urban problems. The NYC BigApps Blockchain Challenge is part of this initiative. This year, the NYCEDC has partnered with SecondMuse to "leverage the program to foster the development of blockchain solutions that improve efficiency, transparency, and security of public sector services and systems." The event will include a workshop series to identify the challenge areas, which the NYCEDC hopes will "ensure that NYC BigApps participants will create solutions rooted in real-world problems that impact the way New Yorkers live, work, and play."
The NYC Blockchain Center grand opening comes just a few weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed "The Digital Currency Study Bill," creating New York's crypto task force. The panel is responsible for studying how to define, regulate, and use cryptocurrencies, and will submit reports on crypto and blockchain technology by December 15, 2020.