Inside buildings whose exterior walls are adorned with the ubiquitous graffiti murals urban America, a new kind of culture is emerging in Brooklyn, New York. From repurposed warehouses to other abandoned industrial buildings, crypto and blockchain entrepreneurs are setting up shop to establish their startups. As blockchain technology is beginning to mature, it seems some of its staunchest proponents have found a home for themselves in Brooklyn.
A New Economic Movement in New York
Blockchain technology has an anti-establishment air about it, at least, in the eyes of its original pioneers. One of the fundamental premises of the technology is to disrupt global process business across diverse sectors.
To this end, many blockchain purists prefer to develop their technologies far removed from the prying eyes of the big corporations who might seem anathema to hardcore blockchain enthusiasts. It is for this reason that Brooklyn, and not Manhattan, is turning into the crypto capital of New York.
As far as business in New York is concerned, Manhattan has always been the hub. Now, in neighborhoods like Bushwick and Williamsburg blockchain and crypto enterprises are taking root, developing intuitive solutions for a myriad of business segments. Startups like ConsenSys and Cryptonomic are hard at work creating blockchain-based applications for supply chain management (SCM), general logistics, payroll, payment processing, etc.
Crypto and Blockchain-fuelled Developments in Brooklyn
ConsenSys harnesses the Ethereum blockchain and smart contract protocol to develop intuitive DApps. The company has been able to establish itself in Brooklyn and is now helping to catalyze the growth of the industry in the city. According to Cryptonomic cofounder, Tyler Clark:
“There’s an energy here that you don’t find in Manhattan or anywhere else in New York. ConsenSys is an inspiration to us.”
Clark, formerly of JPMorgan Chase & Co established Cryptonomic to develop useful app protocols around projects like Tezos. Clark’s co-founder, Vishakh, a former technology VP at JP Morgan has referred to Brooklyn as “Cryptolandia.”
According to Sam Tabar, a strategist at Airswap, another blockchain enterprise in Brooklyn, Manhattan is the home of “legacy finance while Brooklyn is the home of future finance.” He also went on to say that the city overall was creating an enormous blockchain legacy.
For the folks in Manhattan, the guys in Brooklyn are upstarts. Charley Cooper, the R3 Managing Director, believes that the real “blockchain for business” is being done not in Brooklyn but across the East River in Manhattan.
The R3 consortium of blockchain developers is working with some of the biggest names in the corporate world like Microsoft and Intel. The R3 legacy blockchain, Corda is scheduled for launch in 2018 and is expected to host many unique applications for different business segments.
Whether Brooklyn or Manhattan, one thing is for sure, Silicon Valley doesn’t have a monopoly over blockchain technological advancements. Meanwhile, back in Cryptolandia, the activities of these blockchain startups are beginning to affect property prices with condos becoming a familiar sight.