CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland’s blockchain conference will include keynotes from leaders at tech giant IBM, Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger and the cofounder of popular cryptocurrency Ethereum.
The conference, dubbed “Solutions,” will be held at the Huntington Convention Center. The county, backing the conference, will allow organizers to use the space for free, rather than the market rent of $95,000.
Destination Cleveland will be the primary manager of the conference, which stemmed from the “Blockland” effort to make Cleveland a center for innovation and adoption of blockchain technology. The regional collaboration is spearheaded by car mogul Bernie Moreno.
Moreno hopes to make Cleveland an epicenter for blockchain, an online ledger system best known for hosting Bitcoin and other online currencies. The conference will focus on applications such as government records and business.
David Gilbert, the president of Destination Cleveland, has been involved with Blockland from the beginning. He flew with Moreno and seven other Cleveland leaders to Toronto, Canada, in June to learn more from researchers at the Blockchain Research Institute.
A crux of the conference, set for December, was getting speakers. There wasn’t much time to do so; the Blockland effort only started a few months ago and plans for the conference only solidified last month.
But it seems Blockland organizers have succeeded. Speakers include:
- Jerry Cuomo, vice president of IBM Blockchain Technologies
- Jason Kelley, General Manager of IBM Blockchain Solutions
- Joseph Lubin, founder of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) and co-founder of Ethereum. Etherum is one of the leading cryptocurrencies, which are based in blockchain technologies.
- Will McDonough, founder and CEO of iCash, a new cryptocurrency and blockchain application
- Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia
- Alex Tapscott, a co-author of Blockchain Revolution and co-founder of Blockchain Research Institute
- Author Jeremy Gutsche, New York Times bestselling author
Today Blockland organizers also announced a new, first-of-its-kind partnership with the Blockchain Research Institute which will allow Northeast Ohio companies and nonprofits to access blockchain research for free.
That access, which costs $150,000 a year, is funded by JumpStart, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Unify Project.