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The last crypto-related news from the state of Ohio showed that the state is all set to become a leading member in the tech world as it became the first state to accept Bitcoin as payment for taxes for businesses. Now, a recent report from Northeast Ohio news outlet, Cleveland, stated that the state is not ready to play second fiddle to any state. It has embarked on a project worth hundreds of millions to ensure it sets the tech trail for others to follow.
This project would see over eight fund ventures including JumpaStart and FlashStart pump hundreds of millions into blockchain-focused startups. JumpStart has pledged a sum of 100 million USD while the local venture fund and business accelerator, FlashStart, has planned to join in the project with a total of 6 million USD. According to the Chief Executive Officer of JumpStart, Ray Leach, other interested teams, yet undisclosed, have plans of supporting blockchain startups with a total of 200 million USD within a time frame of three years.
This huge amount of money is proposed to help grow early-stage blockchain startups that are focused on using blockchain technology for government or businesses. This innovate Ohio Initiative was made known to the general public during the Blockland Solutions conference held on Sunday December 2, 2018.
I can say without a doubt that this will, indeed, make the state of Ohio a tech-savvy state that everyone will turn to in the near future. There is a ‘but’ though, the proposed hundreds of millions made available to blockchain startups would only be accessible to blockchain companies that avail themselves with the Ohio’s Opportunity Zones. The Opportunity Zones as we know them are zones aimed at providing tax incentives for investors. These zones were designed to help promote economic development in poor neighborhoods.
Speaking on the Innovate Ohio initiative, Lt. Governor-elect John Husted said that the project aims at making Ohio’s government more tech-savvy. This includes making more processes online-based and funding workforce credentials for Ohioans who desire to advance their skills and job opportunities. He added further that the project would be disruptive in a constructive way that it will help create efficiencies and save money.
Husted added that blockchain technology will create a better atmosphere for Ohioans to share their information with the government. The technology will also go a long way to cut down on paperwork as it has the ability to create a secure online identity with all Ohioan’s information that they could easily access with any agency.