Despite falling coin prices which characterized most of 2018, the city of New York has not shied away from its support for Bitcoin and the underlying technology for cryptocurrency.
Even in the midst of a bear market, with Bitcoin slipping below $4,000 and falling 70 percent from it’s all time high in December 2017, investors have reason to rally on news that New York City went through with the opening of its Blockchain Center on Thursday, Jan 10. While most industry enthusiasts would prefer more heartening news out of the world financial capital, New York has taken the plunge on cryptocurrency by endorsing blockchain and doing its part to promote innovation in the space–a technology they hope will bleed over into the realm of banking and fintech.
According to Bloomberg, the New York City Economic Development Corporation said the Blockchain Center opening in Manhattan is “a part of a partnership with affiliates of venture-capital fund Future/Perfect Ventures and the Global Blockchain Business Council, a trade organization.” In addition, the establishing of the new Blockchain Center has many speculating that the city will look to integrate the technology in a broader context later this year, potentially following other regions of the U.S. in allowing blockchain for online voting.
Bloomberg points out that the decision to open the Blockchain Center comes at a difficult time for cryptocurrency, with numerous startups in the industry reporting severe layoffs and cutbacks amidst the ongoing bear market extending into 2019. While Bitcoin has managed to weather storm somewhat relative to the rest of the market, with the price of BTC down 70 percent compared to the ninety percent or greater losses of the altcoin market, the falling price of crypto valuation has turned much of the outside market sour to blockchain and its derivatives.
However, despite depressed coin prices, adoption for blockchain and crypto continued to grow throughout 2018, with many larger companies on the scale of IBM and Walmart developing and integrating the technology. While investors have watched their wallets shrink in response to the dropping market cap, they have found reason to look on 2019 and beyond through a positive lens with the budding growth of the industry.
Ana Arino, chief strategy officer at New York Economic Development Corporation, reported in a phone interview with Bloomberg that while their company is interested in promoting the value of blockchain in contemporary terms, they are looking at future growth to bolster their endeavor.
“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.”
The city of New York has also done its part in promoting blockchain and the opening of the new center, with a one-time initial investment of $100,000. Moving forward the center will look to raise money through membership dues and corporate interest. Bloomberg reports that Microsoft and IBM are already included among the Blockchain Center’s partners.