Here’s why crypto companies are flocking to Texas
Mance Harmon graduated from college in 1993 when the World Wide Web was just getting ripples, so he remembers the frustrations of trying to explain it to his parents. It didn’t make sense to them until they got an email account, but now, everyone intuitively understands the Internet, he said.
“Crypto is in the same space,” said Harmon, now the co-founder of Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest blockchain company, Hedera. “As the number of applications grows and people start taking control of their identity and privacy, they’ll begin to appreciate it in a different light.”
D-FW has made its name as a business-friendly area with a large talent pool. But is the traditional environment enough to draw in the younger crypto companies that favor a more casual work environment, open minds and creative solutions?
“Crypto culture is one of the weirdest cultures I’ve ever been a part of,” said Rasikh Morani, CEO of The Arcadia Group, a Dallas-based blockchain software development company.
“It’s awesome. But it’s also very weird,” he said. “There’s no other industry where I’d be sending anime pictures to my clients or my clients’ investors.”
Crypto’s complexity means some tune it out, not wanting to get involved in something they don’t understand. That has allowed some of D-FW’s biggest crypto-related claims to fame to go largely unnoticed:
- Hudson Jameson, one of the best-known faces of Ethereum, hails from Dallas. For five years until 2021, he worked at the Ethereum Foundation.
- Coinsource, the world’s largest Bitcoin ATM operator, operates out of Fort Worth.
- In 2021, Dallas crypto startup Zabo secured a deal to be bought by leading U.S. mainstream cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
If you ask industry experts whether Dallas-Fort Worth is becoming the “it” place for crypto, you rarely get a simple yes or no answer. But you hear the same themes.
How Dallas stacks up
The first point everyone agrees on is that there is no one “it” place for crypto because it was specifically designed to be done from anywhere.
“The unfortunate reality is that many, if not most, crypto companies are based offshore and maybe have an office in the States, due to the regulatory uncertainty,” said Mark Cuban.
In 2021, the entrepreneur’s Dallas Mavericks team started accepting Dogecoin cryptocurrency as payment for tickets and merchandise and signed a five-year partnership with publicly traded cryptocurrency platform Voyager.
Second, they agree that Texas is definitely the it place if you just focus on crypto mining, because the state is willing to negotiate “fantastic” rates for the power-heavy activity.