Guide to Austin – Cointelegraph Magazine

Austin is a thriving city with a high concentration of tech companies and blockchain enthusiasts. Here are some local tips on the cryptocurrency scene in Texas’ capital.

The “blockchain magazine” is a publication that covers the latest news and developments in blockchain technology. It also provides guides to different cryptocurrencies.

This “Crypto City” tour examines Austin’s bitcoin culture, the city’s most significant projects and personalities, the city’s financial infrastructure, which stores take crypto, and where you can get blockchain education classes – as well as the juicy details of a well-known debate. Everything in Texas is greater, including the state’s excitement for cryptocurrency.

 

Quick facts

Austin is a city in Texas.

United States of America

The population is 974,000 people.

1839 was the year it was founded.

English is the language of choice.

 

Austin, the capital of the biggest state in the contiguous United States, is recognized as a live music hotspot, with events such as Austin City Limits and South by Southwest attracting thousands of visitors each year. With the University of Texas at Austin housing a varied student population and the famous Texas Longhorns football team, the Texas city has a unique combination of liberal and conservative ideals.

Austin gained people from Mexico and the United States about the time Texas became an independent republic in 1836, long before it became a center of big computer businesses, giving it the moniker “Silicon Hills.” With Austin as its capital, Texas has been governed by three flags: the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and the United States of America. Though the city was first recognized for its capital building, which was finished in 1888, it gradually became known as a college town. For a while, the Institution of Texas at Austin was the country’s biggest university by enrollment.

Austin and the surrounding region have also served as the backdrop for a number of well-known films, including Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, Matthew McConaughey’s debut film appearance in Dazed and Confused, and many more. Though the city attracted, and continues to attract, many hungry artists following their interests, increasing rent and housing rates have started to push many residents and newcomers alike out of the region.

As Austin’s population rises, gentrification and commute times continue to be a major issue for many locals. Interstate 35, which connects downtown Austin to newly renovated East Austin, seems to be improperly planned to support the growing number of Austinites, with some driving up to 30 miles between their homes and workplaces. The city has obstacles such as a lack of publicly funded infrastructure for its homeless population, the usage of Austin’s land, and other concerns common to the rest of the country.

 

 

Guide to Austin – Cointelegraph MagazineThe skyline of Austin. (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

 

 

Culture of cryptography

Despite the state’s flag featuring a lone star rather than a snake, many Texans have a “don’t tread on me” attitude against local, state, and federal governments telling people how to run their businesses, finances, and personal lives. In some respects, Austin ians’ reaction to digital assets since 2011 has reflected this thinking, with many seeing crypto as a viable alternative to central banking rather than a passing fad in the tech sector.

The Texans who attend meetups most frequently appear worried about “the status of the country, and the state of banking and money,” according to Paul Snow, a self-described “technologist” who leads the Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Meetup group in Austin and organizes the Texas Bitcoin Conference. Snow claims that the club isn’t concerned with the newest pumped-and-dumped product, with many members owning Bitcoin, Ether, and SOL, however some are also supporters of Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

“[Our conversation] is really a very comprehensive study of any topic that is either in the crypto area or strongly inside the crypto world.” Because the crypto sector, at least in many people’s thoughts, is essentially a threat to central banks, we’re interested in everything that occurs in banking and finance.”

Snow moved in Austin in 2000 and founded the Meetup groups in 2013, long before the United States government and Texas officials focused on crypto businesses operating in the area. The Texas State Securities Board filed for hearings against crypto loan startup BlockFi and cryptocurrency exchange Celsius Network in mid-2021, alleging that they were marketing unlicensed securities. However, the same year, legislators in the state approved laws recognizing cryptocurrency as legal tender.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is also a proponent of crypto, implying on social media that he wants the state to follow Wyoming’s lead in implementing more crypto-friendly laws. Abbott tweeted his agreement when Texas grocery company H-E-B announced in June 2021 that it will be adding bitcoin ATMs, stating, “Texas will be the crypto leader.” Senator Ted Cruz has also lately been an outspoken proponent of cryptocurrency.

 

 

Count me on as a backer of the proposed crypto law.

It’s becoming more common for transactions, and it’s also becoming more popular as an investment. (Fidelity, for example, is attempting to get a Bitcoin ETF.)

Texas should take the lead here, just as we did with the gold depository. https://t.co/1z25mtgnmu

March 29, 2021 — Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott TX)

 

 

The SXSW Crypto Summit, Digital Assets and Securities Conference, Texas Blockchain Summit, Texas Bitcoin Conference, and Bear Arms N’ Bitcoin trade shows have all been held in Austin before. In June 2022, the city is slated to host the big crypto-and blockchain-focused Consensus conference.

 

 

Guide to Austin – Cointelegraph MagazineThe Texas State Capitol is located in Austin, Texas. Pexels is the source of this image.

 

 

Projects and businesses

Austin and the surrounding region have the characteristics to make it ripe for opportunity for the right IT company even before cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology existed. Dell is based in Round Rock, and Elon Musk stated in October that Tesla’s headquarters will be relocated near the city’s international airport. Austin is home to regional operations for major tech corporations such as Facebook, Google, IBM, Oracle, and Hewlett Packard.

“There are so many different levels where crypto should be implemented,” Snow adds, “and I believe that towns who hop on board early will perform so much better than those that drag their feet.”

“I’m not sure I have much faith for that on a governmental level, but I believe Austin is really interesting and they’ll do well on a people and development team level.”

When Chinese authorities started clamping down on Bitcoin miners, several companies migrated to Texas, which offers inexpensive power and seems to have crypto-friendly policies. While Blockcap is based in Austin, other mining firms like as Riot Blockchain and Bitdeer Group – a Bitmain subsidiary — have set up business in neighboring Rockdale. In West Texas, Layer1 Technologies and Argo Blockchain also developed mining facilities.

Despite the fact that many crypto exchanges and companies offering financial products may fall under the regulatory umbrella of the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Austin appears to attract more startups focused on security and blockchain technology than those focused on buying and trading tokens. Pinata, Titan, and Talos have local staff, while Inveniam, Factom, Multicoin Capital, Horizen Labs, and others have offices in the city.

 

 

 

 

Infrastructure for finance

The first Robocoin Bitcoin ATM in Austin was placed in February 2014 at HandleBar, a downtown pub. The machine was one of the first in the United States, and it came before firms like Coinsource and Bitcoin Depot began installing crypto ATMs across the capital city, as well as the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency payments for products and services.

 

 

 

 

Where can I spend my cryptocurrency?

Though credit cards, Apple Pay, and cash purchases are still the norm in the United States, many establishments in Austin, including as restaurants, grocery shops, and photography studios, take Bitcoin. Although no crypto ATMs or payments in Bitcoin or Ether are currently available at H-E-B stores in Austin, Coinmap reports that there are about 90 retail businesses in the region that take digital assets.

 

 

@TexasBitcoin @Bitcoin @BitcoinNotBombs @BitcoinNotBombs @BitcoinNotBombs @BitcoinNotBombs @BitcoinNotBombs @BitcoinNotBombs @BitcoinNotBomb pic.twitter.com/P5mUeZOUFU

March 3, 2014 — Paul Snow (@paulsnx2)

 

 

Starbucks, Home Depot, Whole Foods, and more businesses in Austin allow cryptocurrency payments using third-party applications. Aside from the main retail chains, a few eateries in the downtown area and the Rainey Street Historic District, such as Mai Thai, accept cryptocurrency as payment. Many of these enterprises, however, have closed in the recent year, owing to the epidemic.

Austin, like Miami and New York City, has its own CityCoin, which is based on Stacks, an open-source network of decentralized apps and smart contracts that uses the Bitcoin blockchain as a programmable foundation layer. Both the mayors of Miami and New York City have backed CityCoins’ plan for their respective tokens, while Austin Mayor Steve Adler has yet to embrace a digital currency for the Texas capital city.

 

 

If you believe @MayorAdler should welcome CityCoins to Austin, TX, retweet this. https://t.co/tI5Ped83Ky

November 12, 2021 — CityCoins (@mineCityCoins)

 

 

Education

The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business and School of Information both offer courses on blockchain and the application of technology in a decentralized economy. Prior to the outbreak, students at UT Austin and St. Edward’s University had active cryptocurrency clubs, while Austin Community College joined with IBM in 2019 as part of an apprenticeship program targeted at teaching students interested in blockchain and other related fields. However, since Texas is home to so many crypto and blockchain startups, there are sometimes extra seminars sponsored by private enterprises.

 

 

Guide to Austin – Cointelegraph MagazineFootball game at the University of Texas in Austin. Pexels is the source of this image.

 

Dissensions and failures

Ross Ulbricht, the inventor of the famed darknet bazaar Silk Road, formerly lived in Austin. After returning to Austin after graduating from Penn State, Ulbricht began constructing the site under the moniker “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a reference to the film The Princess Bride. Until his capture in San Francisco in 2013, he eluded the police.

Silk Road let users to purchase and sell illegal products including guns and stolen credit card information, but majority of the postings were for illegal substances, which attracted the FBI’s attention. Ulbricht has been serving two life sentences without the possibility of release since his arrest and conviction. He was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to smuggle drugs, yet he continues to give crypto market analysis from behind bars.

Former Austin inhabitants and notable people

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and a proponent of Dogecoin; Jimmy Song, a Bitcoin developer and crypto influencer known for wearing a cowboy hat; Nathan Nichols, a board member of the Texas Blockchain Council; Jim Breyer, the venture capitalist behind Breyer Capital; Bitcoin Frankie, the owner of Brand Besties; and Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the now-defunct Silk Road darknet marketplace. Texas-based members of the Cointelegraph team: Ray Salmond, Turner Wright, Rachel Wolfson

Please email [email protected] with any recommendations for additions to this guide.

 

 

 

 

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