While the World Cup is well underway and soccer fans are rooting for their team’s global dominance, there’s a different but equally thrilling competition afoot: the race to reinvent the internet as we know it. Blockchain is the most disruptive technology since the creation of the World Wide Web.

By creating an immutable, decentralized ledger upon which we can transact things of value without the need for intermediaries, it’s created nothing less than the second era of the internet. But in order for it to take hold, it needs to solve a particular set of big, hairy problems. The first teams to overcome these hurdles—scalability, interoperability, user interfaces, energy consumption, and more—will walk away with much more than bragging rights and considerable riches: They’ll win control of the new digital economy.

In the updated edition of Blockchain Revolution released this month, we offered our analysis of the conditions under which a city or region could take leadership in this race, as Silicon Valley did in the first era of the internet. Here, we have ranked cities by their readiness to transform their economies and lead this technological revolution.

To qualify for this list, regions have to be more than tax havens for the crypto rich. They have to be networked hotbeds of blockchain innovation; have regulatory clarity on use of cryptocurrencies and ICOs (“initial coin offerings,” the crypto world’s equivalent of an IPO); participation from banks and incumbent financial services; corporate and private venture funding; favorable immigration policies; strong higher education; robust energy and internet infrastructure; and enforcement of human rights and rule of law.

Even though that’s quite a list of qualifying factors, it’s a tight race to secure a slot on the blockchain podium. The sheer scale of the Chinese market lends itself well to blockchain innovation. Read more from qz.com…

thumbnail courtesy of qz.com