Hey, Miami, New York City, and Austin:
Add Quincy, Mass., to the checklist of cities throughout the nation vying to develop into the main hub for blockchain and crypto.
I do know what you’re pondering. Why Quincy? Aren’t a lot of the space’s main crypto corporations — Circle, Algorand, Flipside Crypto, Fidelity, State Street — primarily based in Boston, just some miles north on the Red Line?
Why, sure, they’re. But Quincy City Councilor Ian Cain, who cofounded a startup incubator two years in the past known as QUBIC Labs, thinks he can construct a blockchain ecosystem that may bring jobs and a culture of innovation to his hometown.
What’s fascinating about Cain’s effort is that, politically, he doesn’t have a lot competitors from the remainder of the state. As QUBIC Labs wrote in a white paper final yr, the Boston space’s blockchain sector has “largely been created without state support or a meaningful regulatory framework.”
“There was nobody really convening a space to support the ecosystem, to grow it,” Cain stated.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has staunchly opposed crypto. And in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu has been silent on any associated plans. (The final time Wu’s press crew responded to considered one of my inquiries about whether or not the city was pursuing any crypto initiatives, they stated “not at this time.”)
Cain, then again, needs the blockchain neighborhood to really feel welcome in Quincy, related to how Miami Mayor Francis Suarez lured crypto corporations and enterprise capitalists to his city in the course of the pandemic.
“There was a circumstantial opportunity that the mayor of Miami took full advantage of, in trying to convene the energy,” Cain stated. “We’re also seizing an opportunity, because I don’t see Boston moving on this.”
Cain isn’t your typical crypto bro. He isn’t accepting his paycheck in bitcoin or utilizing an NFT as his profile image on social media (but). He’s centered on methods blockchains, or distributed ledgers, can be utilized to remodel or enhance industries from finance to authorities.
“Blockchain just isn’t about crypto,” he stated, calling it a “fundamental, disruptive technology.”
Cain has demonstrated he has a few of the political savvy wanted to advance the business. He helped QUBIC Labs safe a $2 million state grant, a part of a $5 million partnership that goals to create 10 to 15 blockchain startups and up to 60 jobs over the subsequent two years.
We’ll discover out subsequent week whether or not he can bring the crypto power to Quincy. When it grew to become clear this yr that Boston-based Pillar VC would not host the annual “Boston Blockchain Week,” Cain determined QUBIC Labs might choose up the torch.
The occasion will nonetheless be known as Boston Blockchain Week, regardless of its new location, however Cain stated QUBIC Labs began from scratch, so it ought to really feel a lot totally different than in earlier years.
QUBIC Labs is aiming for a South by Southwest really feel by taking on public areas in downtown Quincy. Castle Island Venture companions Matt Walsh and Nic Carter will host a stay recording of their widespread crypto podcast, On the Brink. There will likely be music and artwork installations.
Cain hopes the vibe will likely be Miami- or New York City-esque, since he’s extremely conscious that there’s a “culture war” for blockchain expertise.
As somebody who attended New York City’s largest crypto fest this summer season, I will likely be pleasantly stunned if the rooftop cocktail hours in Quincy are something like that.
Anissa Gardizy might be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8 and on Instagram @anissagardizy.journalism.