What are the new industry builders working on Shack15 in the crypto mess? Take a tour.
CCryptocurrency prices soared in May, confirming many doubts that digital money is just another technology bubble waiting for pop. So how do startup hubs connected to the industry continue to work in fashionable spaces in the city? In many ways, let’s take another look inside some companies that are far from the plunge of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
On the top floor of the Ferry Building, blockchain and cryptocurrency startups have stores in San Francisco in the sparkling sunlight of the bay. Opened in 2020, Shack15 is a trendy coworking space where more than 12 small businesses are exploring different uses for new technologies.
Other innovation hubs have emerged in the Bay Area, and of course changed the world from the early iterations of the Internet, which was born on the peninsula 50 years ago, to the evolution of the gig economy in the South of Market in the 2010s. But in the light of recent headlines, Shack15 may surprise you.
For now, you can’t read about cryptocurrencies (digital money) without the word “crash”. Bitcoin, the most widely used cryptocurrency, lost more than a quarter of its value in the week of May, during which time crypto investors lost $ 300 billion, the New York Times reported. rice field. Blockchain (an encrypted computer code used to create currencies and record transactions) and cryptocurrencies are used to securely transfer funds to projects in struggling countries, share medical records, and online marketplaces. It can be used in a variety of ways, including rewarding users in the currencies that can be used in video games. Other online experiences. And while cryptocurrency coin prices are undoubtedly plummeting, San Francisco blockchain companies are involved in building larger industries rather than mining or trading coins.
Let me introduce someone who is the opposite of “cryptobro”. This is a nihilistic engineer who is ridiculed by San Franciscan, who is resentful of the technique. You will like this guy.
Adam Jackson Is the CEO of a blockchain and cryptocurrency company that was the first Shack15 tenant. He started working in this space in 2019, before it officially opened. His company, Braintrust, is a “public good” non-profit organization that helps workers get temporary jobs at the company without the need for intermediaries. Workers using Braintrust are paid in dollars instead of cryptocurrencies, but are used to protect gigs and reward users.
“Volatility doesn’t affect us. We’re not traders,” says Jackson. Comparing Bitcoin and Braintrust is like “comparing Goldcoin to Linux,” an open source computer operating system, he says.
What Jackson and his team did at Shack15 in 2019 has since helped tens of thousands of remote workers find jobs during the pandemic without giving up huge wages. His company does not make a profit or trade cryptocurrencies in arrogant markets.
Congratulations, you like blockchain and crypto executives working on Shack15. See you a little longer.
Climb the stairs of the Ferry Building to the top floor, just below the skylights of the large strait of historic buildings. The towering glass storefront of Shack15 welcomes and stops you as the receptionist asks who you will meet.
Shack15 calls itself an entrepreneurial social space, charging $ 1,790 a year for individual members accessing the space. (This is actually about half the price of WeWork.) Small businesses like Nodle, a wireless network, rent separate offices.
Climb the stairs to a vast open space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, greeted by bay views and stylish Scandinavian furniture. Imagine what’s on sale at Ikea in heaven, with a blonde wooden grand piano and cream-colored rugs. The elegantly lit bar offers treats such as wine, espresso and avocado toast. Stylish people chat through laptops on sofas, tables and long stand-up bars on workstations. You may experience sudden discomfort by not feeling cool enough for it all, and then a little frustrated with what feels like an exclusive space. (Don’t worry, it’s normal.)
“Your mind is directed at those who have lost money in either market. Our focus is on building things in the long run.” — Jack O’Holelan
“It’s a great place,” says Jack O’Holelan, CEO of Skale Labs, a blockchain startup with an office in Shack15. And it may take some time to capture the view. “But it’s not a country club atmosphere. They do a lot to promote inclusiveness.”
To some extent, that’s true. Crypto Underground, a club that hosts free monthly events, was held here to foster San Francisco’s emerging crypto community before COVID-19 closed the space for a year.
These events have established a crowd of blockchains and cryptocurrencies in Shack15, its founders say, Yoon Risegen, Like the restaurant owners and owners below, rent a 45,000 square foot venue. (The name Shack15 comes from the first address of Meltwater, a company founded by entrepreneurs at a shipyard in Oslo, Norway.)
The early cynics of the universe, SF Weekly (Owned by Clint Reilly Communications, Nob Hill Gazette), I was skeptical. “The website is full of open, meaningless remarks like” where ideas live “and” for those who do extraordinary things. ” Silicon Valley“, Written by Alternative Weekly shortly after the opening of Shack15.
Fair point. However, many blockchain and crypto entrepreneurs in Shack15 have high ideals, such as Jackson, CEO of the nonprofit job network Braintrust. Shack15 Cryptocurrency Community Member Tove Anderson If same-sex couples live in a country where they are not allowed, they used blockchain to help them get married. Skale Labs, O’Holleran’s 35 startups, uses dramatically less energy than Bitcoin and others. Skale’s computer infrastructure supports companies that help Africans send and receive money from abroad.
Do projects like them redeem cryptocurrencies from all that issue? Oh no, not even near. Overall, cryptocurrencies are still an environmental disaster because of the enormous amount of power that computers need to execute complex equations. And because the world of cryptocurrencies is full of fraud and criminals, the FBI recently formed a new unit focused solely on the abuse of digital currencies. Web 3.0 can also be hit hard by the imminent recession in terms of VC funding, as investors are looking for tangible profits.
And, of course, investing in cryptocurrencies was disastrous for many.
“Your heart is directed at those who have lost money in either market,” says Ohorelan. “Our focus is on building things in the long run.”
However, despite the collapse of the value of many coins, many still believe that the era of cryptocurrencies has arrived. here it is. And San Francisco cryptocurrency companies are working to address these issues. Many, such as Ripple, Kraken, and Coinbase, are large companies with their own headquarters. However, the Crypto Underground event born at Shack15 helped to provide a community for our employees. And the startups working here are hacking additional new uses for cryptocurrencies.
Can everyone access the space like any other part of the Ferry Building? Well, no. But it’s not a social media company campus, gig economy headquarters, or WeWork building. Members can invite guests to the space and some events are open to those who register online. If the Shack15 crypto community mixes schmoozing with working on new types of technology, they say it’s a great idea is often the way to be incubated in Silicon Valley.
“Another project leader may have experienced what we are asking. We can drift and talk and facilitate three months of learning from them.” O’Holleran says. “See, there’s a big misunderstanding in our industry. It’s great to be around other companies trying to make the world a better place.”
OK, the time has run out. Are you ready to go? I know, you were just starting to get used to everything, right?