Friday, January 19, 2018

Puerto Rico immerses itself in global blockchain tech, cryptocurrency discussions

By on December 15, 2017

Giancarlo González presents Government Blockchain Association – Puerto Rico Chapter (Courtesy)

SAN JUAN – The Piloto 151 coworking space has announced the creation of the Puerto Rico Government Blockchain Association (GBA) Chapter, a private membership organization that seeks to assist the government and the public sector in implementing and benefiting from blockchain technology and capabilities.

The local GBA chapter will focus its efforts on three fundamental axes: outreach and community collaboration through monthly events, which will be held on the last Thursday of each month at Piloto 151; a professional certification program in various blockchain-related topics; and support for specific pilot projects such as a public-private-partnership (P3) incubator. The P3 incubator will be structured so small businesses can apply for federal government grants to promote research and opportunities with blockchain technology.

The GBA is composed of individuals and organizations that seek to promote solutions at the government level through blockchain technology. This organization is committed to supporting governments, organizations and institutions to understand, implement and benefit from blockchain-related technologies by making available resources, seminars, workshops and educational programs, and monthly meetings by industry.

“Through the GBA, we will be able to connect innovative technology firms in Puerto Rico with international mentoring in this space,” said Giancarlo González, co-founder of Puerto Rico’s GBA chapter.

Piloto 151 and Codetrotters founder Sofia Stolberg; Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy; Rene Carson, COO of Lone Star Capital, a soon-to-be-launched crypto trading fund; and former Puerto Rico CIO Giancarlo González, co-founder of the GBA’s Puerto Rico chapter (Courtesy)

Sofia Stolberg, founder of Piloto 151 and Codetrotters, added that, “through this chapter, we will also be educating people on blockchain technologies. Building a sustainable talent pipeline will be an important part of ensuring that we are able to build a strong ecosystem around this technology in Puerto Rico and participate actively in this new economy.”

Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy met with the GBA chapter founders and said that “part of the public policy of the agency is to support the private sector that promotes new technologies and innovative industries in Puerto Rico thus presenting a solid and globalized market. In this way, we continue to diversify our economic model, while positioning the island as a vanguard reference in American jurisdiction and in the Caribbean.”

(Courtesy)

Elected officials, legislators, administrators, corporate executives, directors, managers, educators, students and investors are exploring this technology, which has led to an unprecedented rise in the price of bitcoins over the past year, pulling other cryptocurrencies along.

The sudden explosion of interest creates both challenges and opportunities, the GBA chapter co-founder assures, as well as “unlimited potential for new and innovative ideas, products, services and businesses. However, rapid growth can result in chaos, dislocation, fear, uncertainty and doubt. This is where the GBA can offer solutions,” the published announcement reads.

“By providing a framework and communications platform, leaders in this space can connect with others in the same domain or complimentary Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). They can connect with local, state/provincial, and national leaders and administrators through chapters and working groups around the world,” GBA President Gerard Dache adds in the release. “We are here to facilitate the growth and success of the people and organizations in this ecosystem.”

The first meeting of the GBA Chapter of Puerto Rico will take place at Piloto 151 on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. To see the full agenda, visit meetup.com.

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