Toronto-based blockchain institute launched

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Toronto Star | | March 17, 2017

Don and Alex Tapscott

The BRI has raised $2 million, co-founder Don Tapscott said.

A multi-million-dollar Toronto-based research initiative, the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), was launched on Thursday to study the emerging technology.

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer transfer system that eliminates the need for middlemen by trusting the power of the crowd to verify transactions, which enables a decentralized online ledger. It’s “the second era of the Internet,” according to Don Tapscott, co-founder of BRI, who said, “This is 1993 all over again.”

The BRI was founded by Don and Alex Tapscott, co-authors of the book Blockchain Revolution. Alex was recently appointed to the International Monetary Fund’s high-level advisory group on fintech. He was one of two Canadians chosen for the group of 14, along with senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada Carolyn Wilkins.

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The institute will “conduct the definitive exploration of blockchain use cases, opportunities and implementation challenges,” according to a press release.

Don Tapscott said the institute will hire about 30 of “the world’s leading experts” on a contract basis to conduct 30 projects.

“They’ll be projects like, how does this change manufacturing, health care, resources, energy, government and, of course, banks?” Tapscott said. “But there will also be projects about how it changes the way that we run companies and organizations.”

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