Why Crypto Is Spreading Up the Dublin Coast

Symptomatic of a broader shift internationally, the crypto landscape in Dublin has changed rapidly, and with an enthusiasm perhaps disproportionate to the city’s scale.

Suddenly perforated with meetups, ICO startups, crypto cafes, bitcoin merchandise and trading chatter in pubs, cryptocurrencies have seemingly taken the city by storm – and Reuben Godfrey, co-founder of local incubator Crypto Coast reckons this momentum will only continue.

Toward this, he’s planted an office on the pier of coastal suburb Dun Laoghaire, in a venture that he hopes to spread all along the east coast of Ireland, and to many other ports in the world as well.

“We’ll look at Boston, Barcelona, Moscow, Kiev, where else are we talking to, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Lucerne in Switzerland, you know, stick a name on the map,” Godfrey told CoinDesk.

Following a wave of blockchain hubs that have emerged internationally, the Crypto Coast hopes to connect local industry workers, while attracting international businesses and investment.

And in the few days since its launch, it’s already attracted some international players, Russia and U.S.-based startups Coinfideal and Rewards Token, drawing some students and researchers in the process.

Godfrey said:

“We’re just providing a dance floor for people to come up and do whatever they want on basically.”

And while it’s facing competition from established blockchain hubs internationally (as well as Europe’s more traditional startup centers like London and Berlin), Reuben reckons Ireland has an advantage.

“As a place to do business, Ireland is absolutely world class. We’ve some of the best brains I’ve ever come across. And for sparky, innovative stuff that we need to be doing with blockchain, there could be nowhere better. I am absolutely adamant about that,” Godfrey said.

Down the line, Crypto Coast even hopes to launch its own local cryptocurrency, potentially a token that buys up distressed property in order to “deflate the housing crises usually made worse by tech hubs.”

That’s the “next phase,” Godfrey told CoinDesk.

Local adoption

Stepping back, Godfrey is no stranger to the space. He set up the Blockchain Association of Ireland back in 2015, which has since been home to many meetups, as well as forging the early stages of Dublin’s crypto community.

While such efforts were successful, sometimes drawing as many as an estimated 100 people, he acknowledges the city has changed, and that is has developed a bigger appetite for crypto. Blockchain meetups were faced with increasingly long waiting lists, with attendees spilling out into the hundreds.

“I think people are just ripe, ready to trust in it,” Godfrey said, pointing to how quickly Ireland adapted the euro when the national currency changed in 1999. “It was instant, it didn’t take long, we got the concept.” […]

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