Austin Guide – Cointelegraph Magazine

This “crypto city” guide looks at Austin’s crypto culture, the city’s most famous projects and people, its financial infrastructure, where retailers accept crypto, and where you can find blockchain education courses-even famous Interesting details of the dispute. Everything in Texas is bigger, including its passion for encryption.

Quick facts

city: Austin

nation: America

population: 974,000

Founded: 1839

language: English

As the capital of the largest state in the United States, Austin is known as a live music mecca. The annual music festival attracts thousands of people from all over the world, including Austin City Limits and South-southwest. Texas City is a unique blend of liberal and conservative values, but in many ways, it still operates with the old motto of “keep Austin weird.” The University of Texas at Austin has a diverse student body and recipients. Welcome to the Texas Longhorns football team.

Long before becoming the center of major technology companies—Austin earned the nickname “Silicon Valley”—when Texas became an independent state in 1836, Austin attracted settlers from Mexico and the United States. Texas, with Austin as its capital, stands under three flags: the Republic of Texas, the Confederation, and the United States of America. Although the city is mainly centered on the Capitol, which was completed in 1888, it was later called a university town by many people. For many years, the University of Texas at Austin has been the largest enrollment university in the United States.

Austin and the surrounding area have also been the location of many famous movies, including death certificate From director Quentin Tarantino, Perplexed and confused -Matthew McConaughey’s first movie role-and many other roles. Although the city once attracted and still attracts people, due to rising rents and housing prices, many hungry artists who pursue their passion, the interests of large companies and their wealthy executives have begun to drive many locals and novices out of the area.

As Austin’s population grows, gentrification and commuting time remain a big problem for many residents. The main highway Interstate 35-which separates the downtown area from the newly redevelopment of East Austin-does not seem to be large enough to accommodate the ever-increasing number of Austiners, some of whom have up to 30 miles between their homes and offices. The city’s challenges include the lack of public infrastructure for the homeless, the way Austin land is used, and other problems that are common in other parts of the United States.

Austin skyline. (Source: Pexels)

Crypto culture

Many Texans take a “don’t trample on me” attitude towards local, state, and federal governments, telling them what to do with their business, money, and personal lives, even though the state only shows a lone star on its flag. Not a snake. In some respects, Austin residents’ response to digital assets since 2011 represents this mentality. Many people enter the crypto space more as a substitute for the central bank than in the fashion of the technology industry.

According to Paul Snow, he is a self-proclaimed “technical expert” who manages Bitcoin and cryptocurrency gatherings Group and organize in Austin Texas Bitcoin ConferenceThe Texas people who attended the most gatherings seemed to have been concerned about “national conditions, banking and financial conditions.” Snow said that the organization is not concerned about the latest projects being taken out and sold. Many people hold Bitcoin, Ether and SOL, although some are also supporters of Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

“[Our discussion] It’s basically a truly extensive analysis of every issue in or in the crypto space. Because the crypto space is a challenge for the central bank to a large extent, at least in the eyes of many people, then anything that happens in the banking and financial sector is interesting to us. “

Snow arrived in Austin in 2000 and formed a gathering group in 2013, long before the US government and Texas regulators turned their attention to crypto companies operating in the city. In the middle of 2021, Texas Securities Commission Submitted a hearing for crypto loan companies Blockchain also Celsius Network Suspected of providing unlicensed securities.However, the state’s legislators also Passed legislation to recognize cryptocurrency in the same year According to commercial law.

Cryptocurrency also has supporters in the form of the governor of Texas Greg Abbott, He hinted on social media that he wanted the country Take Wyoming as an example Pass more cryptocurrency-friendly legislation.When the Texas supermarket chain HEB Abbott announced in June 2021 that it would install a cryptocurrency ATM Tweet His approval stated that “Texas will become a leader in cryptocurrency.” Senator Ted Cruz also recently publicly expressed support for cryptocurrency.

Austin has hosted before SXSW Crypto Summit, Digital Assets and Securities Conference, Texas Blockchain Summit, Texas Bitcoin Conference with Bear Arms N’Bitcoin Trade fair.The city is also expected to be home to a major crypto and blockchain center consensus Meeting in June 2022.

The Texas State Capitol in Austin. Source: Pexels

Projects and companies

Before the advent of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, Austin and surrounding areas had the conditions to provide opportunities for suitable technology companies.Computer manufacturer Dell Located in nearby Round Rock, in October, Elon Musk announced that he would relocate the car manufacturer TeslaThe headquarters is close to the city’s international airport.Major technology companies include Facebook, Google, IBM, Oracle with HP There is also a regional office in Austin.

Snow said: “There are many different levels where encryption should be adopted, and I think municipalities that act early will do much better than those that delay,” Snow said.

“I don’t know if I have much hope for this at the government level, but at the personnel level and the development team level, I think Austin is very exciting and they will do a good job.”

Once Chinese officials started cracking down on Bitcoin miners, many companies moved to Texas because electricity was cheap and regulations seemed to be friendly to cryptocurrencies.Austin is home to crypto mining companies Cover, But other mining companies, including Riot Blockchain with Bit Deer Group -A branch of Bitmain-opened a store in nearby Rockdale. First-tier technology with Argo blockchain Mining facilities have also been constructed in western Texas.

Although many cryptocurrency exchanges and companies that provide financial products may fall under the supervision of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the city of Austin itself seems to attract more startups engaged in security and blockchain technology to buy and trade agents. currency.Companies such as Pinata, Titan with Talos Let employees work in the city while I will find fact, Multi-currency capital, Horizon Lab There are local offices with others.

Financial infrastructure

In February 2014, Austin’s first Robocoin Bitcoin ATM was installed in HandleBar, a bar located in the city center.The launch of this machine is one of the first machines launched in the United States, and is ahead of the like Currency source with Bitcoin warehouse In addition to gradually accepting cryptocurrency ATMs Encrypted payment For goods and services.

Where can I use cryptocurrency?

Although credit cards, Apple Pay, and cash payments are still dominant in the United States, there are many businesses around Austin that accept BTC, including restaurants, grocery stores, and photography studios.The supermarket chain HE-B in Austin does not host encrypted ATMs or accept payments in Bitcoin or Ether, but according to Coin map, There are approximately 90 retail stores in the region accepting digital assets.

In Austin, Starbucks, Home Depot, Whole Foods and other companies accept encrypted payments through third-party apps.In addition to major retail chains, several restaurants in the downtown area and Rainey Street Historic District, including Thai dance, Allowing Austinians to use cryptocurrency to pay for their food. However, many of these companies have closed last year, possibly due to the pandemic.

Like Miami and New York City, Austin currently has its own CityCoin built on Stacks, an open source network composed of decentralized applications and smart contracts, using the Bitcoin blockchain as a programmable base layer. The CityCoins initiative has received public support Mayors from Miami and New York City For their respective tokens, but Austin Mayor Steve Adler has not yet approved digital coins for the Texas capital city.

educate

this University of Texas at Austin It currently offers courses on blockchain through the McCombs School of Business, and courses on the use of technology in a decentralized economy through its School of Information. UT Austin and St. Edward’s University There were active cryptocurrency clubs before the pandemic, and Austin Community College Cooperated with IBM in 2019 as part of the apprenticeship program to train students who are considering careers such as blockchain. However, it may be because so many encryption and blockchain companies have found a home in Texas, and private companies will hold additional courses from time to time.

Football game at the University of Texas at Austin. Source: Pexels

Controversy and collapse

Austin was once the home of Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the notorious dark web market Silk road. Pseudonym “Terror Pirate Roberts”-a tribute to the movie Princess bride — Ulbricht started developing the website in 2010 after returning to Austin after graduating from Pennsylvania State University. He avoided the authorities until he was arrested in San Francisco in 2013.

The Silk Road allows users to buy and sell illegal goods such as weapons and stolen credit card information, but many of these goods are illegal drugs, all of which have attracted the attention of the FBI. Since his arrest and conviction, Ulbricht is currently serving two sentences without parole. He was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to sell drugs, but he still provides regular analysis of the cryptocurrency market in prison.

Significant numbers of Austin and former residents

Tesla CEO And supporters of Dogecoin Elon Musk; Jimmy Song, A Bitcoin developer and cryptocurrency influencer known for wearing cowboy hats; Nathan Nichols, A member of the board of directors of the Texas Blockchain Council; Jim Breyer, The venture capitalist behind Breyer Capital; Bitcoin Frankie, A crypto influencer and owner of Brand Besties; and Ross Ubricht, The creator of the now-defunct Silk Road dark web market. Cointelegraph team members based in Texas: Turnerright, Rachel Wolfson with Ray Salmond

If you have any suggestions for supplementing this guide, please contact turner@cointelegraph.com.



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