Monday 19 November 2018

Firms urged to join 'Crypto Coast' project to cash in on Bitcoin boom


Dublin’s bustling Silicon Docks. Photo: Naoise Culhane Photography Ltd
Dublin’s bustling Silicon Docks. Photo: Naoise Culhane Photography Ltd

Simon Rowe

Ireland already has the Silicon Docks and the Digital Hub, and may soon have its own 'Crypto Coast' - a regional hub located in the scenic south-east set up to attract fintech startups and incubate blockchain innovators.

The Crypto Coast initiative is the brainchild of Reuben Godfrey, founding director of the Blockchain Association of Ireland.

Godfrey has held informal talks with State agencies including the IDA and Enterprise Ireland about securing support for the fledgling project.

Godfrey, an adviser to a number of fintech firms, unveiled his ambitious plans this weekend.

His plan envisions a decentralised hub of 'crypto-focused firms' stretching from Bray to Wexford, creating hundreds of new jobs and attracting global investment. To attract the world's top tech savvy innovators, Godfrey believes that 'quality of life' is a major factor. "The sunny south-east combines access to world-class talent and a wonderful place to live," he said.

"Over the past decade, Ireland has attracted nine out of 10 world-leading technology and internet companies, eight out of 10 leading online game companies and platforms and over 50pc of the world's leading financial services firms.

"Dublin as a location has become over-saturated - with a high demand on housing and high cost of living. Less than an hour away, the south east coast is an oasis of opportunity for business in Europe."

Godfrey's blueprint for his Crypto Coast project is inspired by Switzerland's Crypto Valley initiative.

The small picturesque Swiss town of Zug - with a population of just 26,000 - has branded itself as the 'Bitcoin capital of Europe', attracting crypto heavyweights such as the Ethereum Foundation, ShapeShift, Monetas and Bitcoin Suisse.

A business-friendly regulatory framework, deep talent pool and sophisticated infrastructure, has seen Crypto Valley quickly become a global centre where emerging cryptographic, blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies and businesses can thrive.

"Our initial focus is on the creation of a network of coworking spaces for startups in this sector," said Godfrey.

"We invite both homegrown and international blockchain and crypto-related technology businesses to join us in building the Crypto Coast block by block."

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