Tampa Bay startups are leading the way on blockchain

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Whether or not you perceive the world of cryptocurrency and are already utilizing it — otherwise you’ve been dwelling underneath a rock and attempting to keep away from it (like us) — there’s one factor you must know: Tampa Bay is the place its future is being constructed.

What’s taking place: Just like the storage Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak constructed the primary Apple computer systems in, Tampa has change into the hub for startups centered round blockchain.

Blockchain is a ledger of verified transactions of digital belongings that catalogs these transactions publicly. It’s how cryptocurrency works while not having to undergo a 3rd occasion, like a financial institution.

The state of play: Embarc Collective CEO Lakshmi Shenoy tells Axios that Tampa Bay startups are increasing the tech for use in on a regular basis life.

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It’s being engineered for presidency, retail, medical data, college transcripts, insurance coverage, agriculture and actual property — eliminating the clunky, time-consuming approach we confirm paperwork throughout transactions.

An inventory of Tampa Bay blockchain startups and what they do:

RB Technologies establishes transparency and belief within the dietary complement and meals industries by proprietary blockchain know-how.
Real Random makes software program for safe authentication to handle and renew public key certificates.
ProCredEx creates a digital market for exchanging verified skilled credentials.
TrustLayer moved from San Fransisco to Tampa to automate insurance coverage verification for enterprise protection.
SkuX accelerates income progress, information visibility, and ROI for manufacturers and retailers by good, safe digital gives and funds.
eNotaryLog permits customers wherever on this planet to notarize HIPAA compliant kinds.

The backdrop: Nearly all of those corporations and extra got here out of Blockspaces, a startup led by Tampa blockchain OGs Gabe Higgins and Rosa Shores.

Blockspaces opened formally in 2017. Shores calls it “a spot that had air con the place folks may get collectively and discuss these initiatives.”
It has raised $1.2 million to let small and mid-sized companies begin utilizing the blockchain for his or her provide chains, track-and-trace applied sciences and different functions.
“Having that assist community has made folks courageous and created an enormous mild of expertise. It actually is that this large group that’s type of pushing the fold right here. … I haven’t skilled something prefer it wherever else within the nation,” Shores mentioned.

The large image: Shores can also be the VP of the Florida Blockchain Enterprise Affiliation, which focuses on regulation round crypto and blockchain in Tallahassee.

She’s pushing for laws this session that she says will proceed to make Florida friendlier for these startups.

What to observe … Shores, Higgins and Shenoy all agree: Essentially the most thrilling Tampa blockchain startup is Pocket Community.

The platform permits builders to attach any app, on any blockchain, to any system with a single line of code.

The underside line: Pocket Community founder Michael O’Rourke calls Tampa “the blockchain capital you have not heard of but.”

“I traveled all over the world a bunch of instances over the previous few years. Evaluating it with bigger cities, I can 100% inform you that the sort of soul right here in Tampa may be very completely different and really distinctive. When folks come and go to and expertise it, they’re like, ‘Holy s–t, that is actually cool.’”

This story first appeared within the Axios Tampa Bay publication, designed to assist readers get smarter, sooner on essentially the most consequential information unfolding in their very own yard.

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