James Patchett, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President and CEO, has announced a series of initiatives to “support [the] growing blockchain industry” within the city.

The announcement came at CoinDesk’s annual Consensus conference, where Patchett was the keynote speaker. Patchett said that the City will begin the initiative by launching both the NYC Blockchain Resource Center and a public blockchain competition for blockchain apps that will improve the public sector.

According to an official announcement by the NYCEDC, the NYC Blockchain Resource Center is also intended to act as a meeting point for investors, consumers and consumer advocates, and lawmakers: “the center will serve as a physical hub for the industry, building public awareness for blockchain technology through education, and connecting entrepreneurs to business support, mentorship, advisory services, and a community of peers to help them launch and scale new ventures.”

The blockchain app competition, which is set to begin later this year, has been designed similarly to the City’s ‘BigApps’ contest. On May 14, the NYCEDC has officially requested proposals for organizations who are interested in running the competition. Educational workshops for government employees and the general public will also be hosted as a part of the competition.

”No Better City” for Blockchain Industry Leadership, Says Patchett

As part of the same speech at Consensus, Patchett declared that there is “no city in the world that’s better positioned to lead the way in blockchain” than New York. “We’re a global leader in finance, real estate, media, and tech – all industries seeing incredible innovation from this new technology. The City is putting a big focus into blockchain to find out how we can grow the industry and make sure it’s creating great opportunities for New Yorkers.”

The City has, in some ways, been on the forefront of blockchain regulation in the United States for the past several years. In 2015, the state launched its ‘BitLicense’ program, a business license for companies conducting virtual currency activities. However, the program has come under heavy criticism for smothering blockchain startups with high costs; lawmakers and industry participants alike have called for reform.

Another piece of blockchain history was made in New York earlier this week when the state officially authorized the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini exchange as the first licensed Zcash exchange in the world.

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