ISELIN, N.J., September 24, 2018 – Lisa Marks-Canty, CEO of ChainNinja, and Leon Wilson, CIO of The Cleveland Foundation announced today that the organizations will be partnering to sponsor a Blockchain grant challenge, benefiting nonprofit organizations in the Cleveland metropolitan area. The grant challenge, a brainchild of the two organizations, stemmed from conversations around public and nonprofit organizations’ historic late adoption of new, potentially helpful technology. Lisa Marks-Canty expressed that “ChainNinja is excited to work with the Cleveland Foundation to educate the public on how Blockchain technologies have the potential to provide the underserved and vulnerable populations with access to critical services and the basic rights as citizens we should be entitled to such as identity, financial services, education, democracy, and healthcare.”
The organizations will be releasing final RFP documents in late September, but they shared that nonprofits will be asked to send both their subject matter and technology experts to participate in Discovery Days where they will learn more about Blockchain technology and begin brainstorming proof-of-concept project ideas to submit for consideration to the challenge. The organizations will then fully develop their ideas and proposals, present to a panel of experts, and the winner’s proof-of-concept will be developed by ChainNinja’s Blockchain technologists and experts.
Wilson shared, “We’re excited to be partnering with Chain Ninja to host community-led conversations around ways we can leverage the seemingly disruptive technology for social good. We hope to get beyond the buzzwords of distributed ledger, military-grade encryption, decentralization, immutable and smart contracts, to demystify Blockchain technology while more importantly listening to the issues of the community to identify real opportunities to address real local challenges and opportunities.”
The winner of the contest is expected to be announced at Cleveland’s Blockland Convention late this year as a part of a larger conversation around technology and social good. Wilson further shared that “The Cleveland Foundation is routinely supportive of efforts promoting technology innovation in the Greater Cleveland community. Given the recent conversation and energy here in Cleveland surrounding the potential of Blockchain technology for both business and public-sector organizations, we are keenly intrigued around the use of ‘Blockchain use for social good.’”
Blockchain has been a much-discussed topic worldwide, with particularly robust conversation in the Cleveland area recently under the leadership of Bernie Moreno, but the vast majority of the public and businesses are still unclear as to how the technology works let alone its business applicability. Lisa Marks-Canty further shared that “While Blockchain technology has been around for over 10 years, there is still a level of uncertainty that the mere mention of Blockchain brings. While some have focused on certain Blockchain use case that people call ‘hype,’ others have uncovered successful use cases in areas of business that address issues of trust, efficiency and single points of failure. We are eager to show how some of the successful use cases such as digital identity, payments, credentialing, and smart contracts.” showcase the power of Blockchain for social good. We can now show how Blockchain can revolutionize how humanitarian and social organizations operate.”
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