Chicago Opens Blockchain Center

Chicago’s enterprises in collaboration with the State of Illinois launched a new Blockchain center, called the Chicago Blockchain center. It will be used to incubate local Blockchain startups, mentor entrepreneurs and students and conduct original research. As part of the launch, the non-profit – founded by Bloq chairman and co-founder Matt Roszak – will be taking on the State of Illinois’ blockchain business liaison, Jennifer O'Rourke, as its first director of public engagement.

Other founding partners include fintech trade association FinTEx Chicago, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the Blockchain Education Network and Bloq. Other strategic partners include media startup Distributed and law firm Perkins Coie, which has a practice dedicated to serving blockchain startups and enterprises.

In addition to helping incubate startups, the public-private partnership is also intended to serve to feed the region’s enterprises working to integrate blockchain and local industry startups connecting them. 

Last November, Illinois first unveiled its blockchain policy, prompting a series of announcements including the February news that state legislator Michael Zalewski had called for the creation of a blockchain working lab. A month later, the state became the first US regulator to join the R3 blockchain consortium.