The city of Cleveland in Ohio is looking to revamp itself as a national tech hub, launching its own blockchain initiative to promote the local small business city.
Just recently the state of Ohio announced that they will be allowing residents to pay for their taxes using Bitcoin.
Cleveland is home to several significant blockchain projects, also including Votem, a startup testing the decentralized technology for voting during elections using a mobile phone application.
Recently serial entrepreneur Bernie Monero appeared on NPR’s morning podcast, where he tried to sell the idea to the rest of America:
“If you’re going to have a blockchain startup, this is the place you do it… If you’re going to invest in blockchain startups, this is the place I would invest in. If you’re a developer [or] you’re a student who wants to do blockchain development, Cleveland is the place you do it.”
We reached out to Bernie asking for his perspective on why he thinks Cleveland is a good place for blockchain startups. Bernie told us:
“Great cost of living, early adoption, great workforce, and a government that is willing to embrace the technology to make itself more efficient!”
Is Cleveland ready for blockchain?
But for a potential blockchain hub, the general residents do not have a particular understanding of the technology or how blockchain works.
Waverly Willis, a barber who proudly introduced himself as the first in his profession in the city to accept Bitcoin payments, told NPR
“It’s regular blue-collar guys that’s saying, ‘why do I need to know about this stuff?’ And so you need a guy like me to explain it.”
Nevertheless, it is great to see that startups and tech companies are expanding outside of the traditional Silicon Valley. There’s still a lot of work to be completed in the blockchain space, but we need supporters from traditional serial entrepreneurs like Bernie to be successful.