Crypto Pioneers Head to Brooklyn to Reshape Finance in an abandoned building

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Crypto Pioneers Head to Brooklyn to Reshape Finance.

The building looks abandoned, but inside the graffiti-covered door, 200 workers tap at laptops with the goal of reshaping the world.

The workers of ConsenSys Inc., the blockchain startup co-made by Ethereum master Joseph Lubin, have assumed control space at 49 Bogart St. in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Inside its block dividers, they want to grow new innovation to decentralize and democratize a large group of things, including the way we record land bargains, track workmanship proprietorship and pay individuals for work. Outside the dividers, they've changed the area in a way that is reminiscent of regions in London, San Francisco, and Hong Kong.
As ConsenSys turns off new pursuits and pulls in business accomplices, in Bushwick and contiguous Williamsburg, once part of New York City's mechanical heart, the crypto world has added to continuous gentrification. Void distribution centers have been restored, apartment suites have gone in and roads are populated with bistros, ramen shops and paintings portraying peculiar animals.

"There's a vitality here that you don't discover in Manhattan or anyplace else in New York," said Tyler Clark, the prime supporter of blockchain designer Cryptonomic, which he began with a previous associate from JPMorgan Pursue and Co. "ConsenSys is a motivation to us."

Social Mature

Despite the fact that Manhattan has its own particular blockchain organizations, they're all the more intently connected with built up organizations, for example, Microsoft Corp. furthermore, Intel Corp. than revolt Brooklyn would endure. It may verge on metaphor to contrast Bushwick and Williamsburg in 2018 with Los Altos in 1976 or Haight-Ashbury in 1966, however as blockchain progresses in the direction of satisfying its significant potential, the post-modern city squares where it's going on have the atmosphere of social age. Except if, obviously, this blockchain thing adds up to practically nothing. In which case, it doesn't mind.

For the present, call the territory Cryptolandia, a name supposedly authored by the single-named Vishakh, a previous VP of innovation at JPMorgan and Clark's accomplice in Cryptonomic.

The building looks abandoned, but inside the graffiti-covered door, 200 workers tap at laptops with the goal of reshaping the world.
The employees of ConsenSys Inc., the blockchain startup co-created by Ethereum guru Joseph Lubin, have taken over the space at 49 Bogart St. in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Inside its brick walls, they hope to develop new technology to decentralize and democratize a host of things, including the way we record real estate deals, track art ownership and pay people for work. Outside the walls, they’ve helped transform the neighborhood in a way that’s reminiscent of precincts in London, San Francisco and Hong Kong.
The building housing the office of ConsenSys Inc.
Photographer: Holly Pickett/Bloomberg
As ConsenSys spins off new ventures and attracts business partners, in Bushwick and adjacent Williamsburg, once part of New York City’s industrial heart, the crypto world has contributed to ongoing gentrification. Empty warehouses have been revived, condos have gone in and streets are populated with cafes, ramen shops and murals depicting strange creatures.
“There’s an energy here that you don’t find in Manhattan or anywhere else in New York,” said Tyler Clark, co-founder of blockchain developer Cryptonomic, which he started with a former colleague from JPMorgan Chase & Co. “ConsenSys is an inspiration to us.”
Workers at ConsenSys in Bushwick.
Photographer: Holly Pickett/Bloomberg

Cultural Ferment

Though Manhattan has its own blockchain businesses, they’re more closely associated with established companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. than rebel Brooklyn would tolerate. It might be bordering on hyperbole to compare Bushwick and Williamsburg in 2018 to Los Altos in 1976 or Haight-Ashbury in 1966, but as blockchain works toward fulfilling its considerable potential, the post-industrial city blocks where it’s happening have the aura of cultural ferment. Unless, of course, this blockchain thing amounts to very little. In which case, never mind.
For now, call the area Cryptolandia, a name reputedly coined by the single-named Vishakh, a former vice president of technology at JPMorgan and Clark’s partner in Cryptonomic.
Consensys, workspaces and new condos lure crypto workers in Williamsburg and Bushwick
Brooklyn is planting its crypto-flag during New York’s Blockchain Week. The Ethereal Summit, May 11 and 12, will feature speakers on everything from blockchain in the arts to using cryptocurrencies for charitable giving to the new technologies’ roles in emerging economies.
The Fluidity Summit on May 10 will feature Lubin as well as Wall Street luminaries Nouriel Roubini and Michael Novogratz. It’ll be held at the old Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, designed by the same architect as the New York Stock Exchange.

Gutted Bank

“We intentionally chose a gutted bank in Williamsburg to symbolize the mission of reshaping finance,” said Sam Tabar, a strategist for Airswap, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange based in the neighborhood. “This is the planting of the flag in Brooklyn for blockchain. Legacy finance is headquartered in Manhattan. Future finance is in Brooklyn.”
Across the East River in Manhattan, blockchain developer R3 consortium might quibble with that assessment. The company employs about 50 in New York and works with more than 200 regulators, financial firms and tech companies, including Microsoft and Intel.
R3 designed its own blockchain, called Corda, and this year plans to launch a number of applications, including Tradewind, a gold-exchange company on the Corda blockchain; HQLA X, a securities-lending platform that recently had its first trade; and Fusion LenderComm, an application for syndicated lenders.
An office renovated by real estate developer Toby Moskovits in Bushwick.
Photographer: Holly Pickett/Bloomberg

Blockchain for Business

“Blockchain for business in Manhattan, not Brooklyn,” said R3 Managing Director Charley Cooper. “ConsenSys really is a thoughtful group, but changing the world is taking a different direction.”
Hope springs crypto in Brooklyn. The borough’s initial appeal was simple: It was cheap, at least by New York City standards, and Lubin and some of the original ConsenSys employees were already living in the area.
“It was a group of people who were locally situated and who appreciated the Brooklyn vibe,” Lubin said in an interview. “It definitely had a warehouse vibe all around the world for a long time, and I think we resonated with that.”
Already, Cryptolandians are pushing up rents and threatening what made it attractive. Antonio Reynoso, the New York City councilman representing the area, is pushing to preserve manufacturing jobs, which pay more than a lot of the jobs at restaurants and retailers. He also wants to keep housing affordable so residents can live and work there, commuting by bike or on foot. Meanwhile, tour groups have added Bushwick for the street art, helping to raise the area’s profile.
“That graffiti was done by locals who’ve been arrested and gone through hell,” Reynoso said. Then outside “enterprise comes in and gives tours.”

Condos in Bushwick?

Prices for two-bedroom condos in Bushwick -- a category that barely existed until recently -- have risen 12 percent to $855 per square foot from $762 last year, according to Ariel Tavivian, a Douglas Elliman Real Estate Broker.
Lubin led the way three years ago, taking advantage of the plentiful warehouse space. As spinoffs and startups multiplied, real estate developers like Toby Moskovits’s Heritage Equity Partners followed. And Cryptolandia was born.
“What this neighborhood had was a spirit that I felt was going to welcome innovators and tech companies, and a volume of potential spaces that could be converted for innovation-based companies,” Moskovits said. “Over the last three years that has come together.”
Moskovits developed workspaces near the East River and down the street from ConsenSys. In the ConsenSys area, Nicholas Tukmanian turned a family-owned property into offices, where eight of its tenants are blockchain- and crypto-oriented businesses. ConsenSys said it has about 40 people there, too.
According to New York City’s Economic Development Corp., in 2015 there were 93 job openings listed for Brooklyn blockchain companies. Last year, there were 745, a more than eightfold increase. And the growth is just starting, said James Patchett, the group’s president.
“We absolutely believe this is an industry that’s going to explode,” Patchett said in an interview. “We’ve seen an increase in startups that want to be outside of Manhattan.”
Source; Bloomberg.
Crypto Pioneers Head to Brooklyn to Reshape Finance in an abandoned building

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