While the cryptocurrency market is in retreat, New York is standing next to blockchain technology with firm footing. It's choosing to support the digital ledger technology even in the aftermath of a broader retreat of the cryptocurrency market.
According to an announcement made by New York City's Economic Development Corporation, the Blockchain Center will officially open on Thursday in downtown Manhattan. Its launch will be part of a wider partnership with a number of affiliate agreements with Perfect Ventures / Future Ventures as well as the Global Blockchain Business Council, which operates as an international trading organization.
In broader news, it has been reported that New York may very well begin testing out possible other use cases for blockchain technology over the course of Autumn 2019.
While this is very positive news for the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, the Blockchain Center has decided upon an opening in the midst of a long winter within the industry at large. When comparing the total market caps of cryptocurrences in late 2017 and the beginning of 2018 to now, the whole market of digital coins has plummeted by as devastating an amount as 90 percent.
The winter has forced a large number of startup ventures and companies to lay off a large number of their staff, or even completely shutter production of their projects due to a subsequent drying up of their initial funding, or simply a complete inability to accrue initial or series-B investment.
A more significant number of these same companies have also since stalled trials, development and even alpha and beta builds of projects, which can simplify the process of multiple parties to store and transfer information in a secure way. This sort of technology is currently being used in companies like Walmart.
According to Ana Arino, who works as the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) for the EDC, Cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies are having to change tact. “We are playing the long game“, Arino goes on to explain.
“It operates as a relatively nascent technology, so there is bound to be a degree of uncertainty regarding its evolution from year to year. And while we don't exactly know what the future holds, we want to ensure that we have a seat at the table for it.”
Based out of Flatiron District, on 54th West 21st street, there's a 4,000 square foot center based in the heart of California's Silicon Alley, which provides a great deal of information for new and existing developers within the space.
Offering things from coding masterclasses, to lunchtime lectures for members of the public to those involves in software development. Some of the business-based residents of the twelve-story building include Quovo, which is involved in the aggregation of information, Glamsquad, which provides a wide range of beauty services, including the startup investment company, Palm Drive Capital.
The operators of these initiatives aim to generate revenue through corporate partnerships, which will allow them to expand their offerings to developers and the public, as well as through membership subscriptions. Among these business partnerships, these currently include Microsoft corporations as well as International Business Machines Corp, more commonly known as IBM, which is according to the managing partner for Future Ventures / Perfect Ventures – Jalak Jobanputra.
“Really, this is a neutral spot, and there is no single platform or company out there that has some degree of undue influence over digital programming,” according to Jobanputra within the confines of an interview. “What we want to provide for entrepreneurs is a greater degree of choice.” The plans to establish this center were announced to the public back in May 2018.
Over the course of 2018, New York's series of blockchain startup companies had managed to receive over $500 million in venture funding, which is a spectacular increase of over 500 percent when compared to 2017, according to EDC. Some of the largest blockchain employers in the world are enjoying a great deal of growth within New York, which includes the likes of IBM, Coinbase and R3.
Over 2018, New York also reported the posting of over 2,200 blockchain based job vacancies, which is a dramatic increase of over 80 percent when directly compared to 2017, according to the agency.
The center itself is not the first community space directed at blockchain initiatives within New York. Bitcoin Center NYC, which operates as a self funded company, has been working within the space since around 2013, it operates on a daily basis and hosts a range of events monthly, according to its founder – Nick Spanos.