Massachusetts Program Spreads Blockchain Knowledge to Cities

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    By Amee Mehta
    Aug 16th, 2020
    Where most administrations are less welcoming of blockchain as a technology, the state of Massachusetts is offering a training program for its local leaders. The Innovation Institute of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) is leading this program to help the local leaders get a hold of the blockchain technology and its possibilities. The program holds educational sessions that aim at “government innovators” in local areas. Pat Larkin, the director at the Innovation Institute, says that the sessions are designed to help leaders understand blockchain and its potential without any prior knowledge of this technology. He also added that the program is a result of the work that his organization has done with the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, which revolves around technologies that could grow the economy of the state. MTC deemed blockchain as a promising tool for Massachusetts, with the state’s major research institutions making tremendous contributions and discoveries in the technology. Larkin added that the next logical step after attaining this intellectual capacity was to educate the people who are in the position to address the real needs with blockchain. He also said that local leaders are perfect to be the first adopters because of their flexibility, agility, and the ability to improvise and collaborate. Ian Cain, a city councilor in Quincy, Boston, said that activities are more likely to be appropriately managed at a local level, including those related to technology. He added that municipality leaders have the opportunity to apply and test ideas and make incremental and meaningful change that can be adopted and replicated in other parts of the country. There are blockchain applications that Cain regarded as “timely” for municipalities. They were blockchain voting, community exchange or bartering, and keeping up with property tiles or land-record blockchain. Cain said that if the security limitations that come with these applications could be removed, then these applications should be of immediate interest to municipalities.