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NDSU to host blockchain conference

The NDSU Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise is set to host the Research and Practice (RAP) on Blockchain conference Oct. 27 at the Memorial Union.

Blockchain is a distributed accounting ledger that transmits information publicly while keeping the identities associated with accounts private. It is a highly secure way of storing and quickly transacting data. Researchers and practitioners will gather to learn about blockchain technology and its potential to disrupt area industries. Topics include governance in finance, ag supply chains, economic organization, the money market, law and privacy. 

“The vision behind this conference is to bring academics and entrepreneurs together to unlock innovative ways we can use blockchain technology to grow and diversify the North Dakota economy,” said Jeremy Jackson, director of the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise. 

“The Red River Valley is a growing hub for technological innovation,” said James Caton, faculty fellow at the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise. “This conference is the first of its kind and a great opportunity for students and entrepreneurs in our area to learn from leading blockchain experts.” 

Entrepreneurs will come away with new ideas on how to unleash the power of blockchain technology in their industries; researchers will learn about the innovative process and the challenges industries face in implementing these ideas; and policy makers will understand the ways this new technology can change the global, national and regional economy.

In addition to break out sessions with regional researchers and entrepreneurs, the conference will feature a keynote address by Jason Potts, director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub in Australia, the first social science research institute on blockchain in the world. 

The conference also will feature a panel discussion. Scheduled panelists include:

• Edward Stringham, president of the American Institute for Economic Research

• Krista Pontius, director of partnerships and consulting at BullPay

• Cameron Harwick, assistant professor at The College at Brockport, SUNY

A pre-conference lecture by Stringham is set for Oct. 26 as part of the Capitalism and Society lecture series. Stringham will present “Private Enforcement of Contracts: from eBay to Blockchain” at 5:30 p.m. in the Barry Hall AgCountry Auditorium. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Students can showcase their ideas through the Student Poster Competition. Poster presentations are set to take place during lunch in the Great Room with the top three winners receiving gift cards to the NDSU Bookstore for $250, $150 and $100. 

The conference is free to attend, but pre-registration is encouraged. People can register on Eventbrite. Doors will open at 8 a.m. for conference check-in and walk-in registrations.

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North Dakota State University
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