Young cryptocurrency millionaires – and those who want to learn more about their hot assets – converge every week in the Big Apple to drink, trade business cards, and take advantage of their collective chance to be ahead of the second. Internet gold rush.
The most recent rally, held in the Upper Room of Sean’s, a Midtown pub on Monday, brought together dozens of 20-30-year-old techies dressed as if they were going for a day hike in Portland. – mingling with each other and a few women as they sipped pints of Guinness and munched on burgers and fries.
The event is called “CryptoMondays,” the Big Apple’s biggest tech-style “meetup” devoted to digital currency – but on November 15, the chatter wasn’t about Dogecoin or DeFi, but Mayor-elect Eric Adams.
New York is far from the most crypto-friendly state in the Union, thanks to restrictions “” by the Department of Financial ServicesBitLicense“, which anyone engaged in a virtual currency business must obtain, complained participants. The license restricts new coin offerings as well as certain types of cryptocurrency-backed loans that fall under” decentralized finance “or of the “DeFi”.
But they are hoping the new mayor – who has vowed to place the city at the center of the burgeoning new industry – can energize the local scene, while using his big-city bullying chair to convince Albany to relax the rules. cryptography.
“I think Eric Adams realizes that New York is very slow in terms of crypto adoption,” Nelson Merchan, 27, who runs a marketing company in the crypto industry, told The Post. . “I think it’s a very smart decision… I think it’s a decision to compete with Miami.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez launched a city cryptocurrency that would provide income for Miami residents, eliminating the need for residents to pay taxes.
Not to be outdone, Adams argued that cryptocurrency should be taught in schools, considered copying Miami’s municipal cryptocurrency, and said he would take his first three paychecks “in Bitcoin”.
A representative from Adams clarified that since the city can only process payroll in US dollars, the mayor planned to take his payroll, after tax, and buy Bitcoin. Its most recent financial disclosure does not list any crypto holdings.
Sean Koh, a recording artist and co-founder of Koherent, a subsidiary of his family office, said he plans to spend the winter in Miami’s “crypto hub” but is open to a New York more crypto-friendly.
“It’s always about execution,” he said. “It really comes down to the details of how blockchain will help the city. He refers to the cornerstone of cryptocurrency: the decentralized ‘chain’ of verified transactions that enables digital currency without a central bank.
Architect Alexandros Washburn, 59, chief urban designer under Michael Bloomberg’s town hall, says he owns Bitcoin and Ethereum – the two largest cryptocurrencies.
His new business markets and sells digital “buildings” in the form of “NFTs” or non-fungible tokens. You can start building the metaverse based on [the blockchain]. And we’re here to help do it, ”he said.
Alex Atallah, 29, co-founder and chief technology officer of the $ 1.5 billion OpenSea NFT marketplace, said he “hopes for improvement” in New York State’s stringent regulation of cryptocurrency, which “makes it really tough for businesses building in New York.”
A state DFS representative told The Post: “BitLicense requirements serve such purposes as consumer protection, entity security and soundness, market integrity, and money laundering prevention. money and other crimes. […] The State Welcomes and Encourages Virtual Currency Companies to Start Up and Enter the New York Market ”
Although he is twice the age of many participants, the leader of the New York branch is Lou Kerner, 60, a partner of the Blockchain crypto fund Coinvestors. His company has just launched a crypto-focused SPAC, that is, a publicly traded shell company with a pot of money will seek to merge with a crypto company.
Kerner bounced around the room to introduce strangers, more than to follow the group – most of whom, unlike him, grew up in the glow of a computer screen.
The former Wall Street analyst and dot-com boom executive bristled at what he says is their favorite name – “boomer” – before going down in the story of his crypto conversion experiment.
“I saw the crypto light on June 29, 2019. And since then I have been crypto 24/7,” he said.