The value of cryptocurrencies has fallen over the past year, but the authorities in New York City still believe in the power of blockchain, the technology underlying these digital assets.
Keeping up with the spirit, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) opened its Blockchain Center in Manhattan on Thursday, Jan 10.
Will the Center Help the Industry?
New York City already has a Bitcoin Center, a self-funded space that has been around since 2013.
The center is open daily and hosts events every month.
The new EDC Blockchain Center set to open in Silicon Alley was announced in May. However, the time of its launch isn’t necessarily a rosy one for the blockchain industry.
Blockchain’s most well-known application- cryptocurrencies have had a troublesome time recently. The prices of digital currencies have gone down by an average of 80%.
According to Ana Arino, the chief strategy officer at EDC who spoke to Bloomberg recently:
“We are playing the long game. It’s a nascent technology, so there’s bound to be uncertainty around this evolution from year to year. While we don’t know what the future holds, we want to make sure we have a seat at the table shaping it.”
What Will the New Blockchain Center Be Like?
The Blockchain Center is being opened in partnership with Global Blockchain Business Council, a trade organization and Future/Perfect Ventures, a venture-capital fund.
The 4,000 square foot facility will be located at 54 W. 21st St. in the Flatiron District in Silicon Alley.
It will offer coding classes and even lunch lectures to software developers. There will also be some events for the general public.
The 12-story building that will house the center is already the home to notable companies like Glamsquad Inc., Palm Drive Capital LLC, and Quovo Inc.
The city will be making a one-time initial investment of $100,000 in the center. The center will then be funded via membership dues and corporate partners.
IBM and Microsoft will be pouring some funds into the center, according to Future/Perfect Ventures’ managing partner Jalak Jobanputra.
In a phone interview with Bloomberg, she said:
“This is a neutral spot, there’s no one platform or company that has undue influence over programming. What we want entrepreneurs to have is a choice.”