The world of finance can seem like the Wild West these days with cryptocurrencies raising tens of millions of dollars, all without a central authority calling the shots. But big fluctuations in the price of bitcoin and ether can obscure the promise of the blockchain technology underlying those cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain refers to a distributed ledger for tracking data, such as cryptocurrency tokens or even a vote in an election. It has the potential to revolutionize social networks, health care and how consumers pay for items and transfer money.

Austin is crafting an increasingly prominent role in the development and adoption of blockchain technology. “I have no idea if cryptocurrency mania is justified, but I am convinced that regardless of the success or failure of crypto as an asset class, there are elements of blockchain tech that will fundamentally change how many industries work,” Bret Boyd, a partner in the Grayline consulting firm, wrote in a Feb.

6 email to clients. A group of blockchain companies, investors and allies recently formed the Austin Blockchain Collective to shed more light on the industry, as well as to dispel some of the misconceptions about cryptocurrencies.

While membership hasn’t been solidified, the group lists about 50 associated companies on its website, from artificial intelligence startup CognitiveScale Inc. to IBM Corp. to Multicoin Capital Management LLC, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds with a $100 million pool being raised. Other organizations partnering with the blockchain collective include Capital Factory, DEN Capital Group, Lighthouse Partners and Factom Inc. Go here to see the full list. Read more from…

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