This guide “Crypto City”, examines the San Francisco Bay Area’s cryptocurrency culture, most notable people and projects, its financial infrastructure, retailers that accept crypto and where you can find education courses in blockchain. With all the projects available in San Francisco, you might find yourself a new home.
City: San Francisco
Country: United States
Although not the most populous part of California, nor the capital, San Francisco Bay Area is known for its iconic cable cars and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It also has Silicon Valley, both the TV series and the real-life tech center. Many residents still live in buildings over 100 years old, which was originally a Spanish colony.
San Francisco is well-known for its proximity the San Andreas Fault. This fault has been responsible for many of the most destructive earthquakes in American history. It also caused large fires throughout the city that lasted several days. In 1989, another magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck the Bay Area. It damaged the Bay Bridge that connects the downtown area to Oakland.
Many historic buildings and beautiful places have survived the earthquakes. Napa Valley and its nearby wineries may also help. San Francisco is a popular destination for tourists from around the globe. It has been the location of many movies, such as The Rock, Mrs. Doubtfire, and The Matrix Resurrections. It also contains the oldest Chinesetown in North America, Presidio, Golden Gate Park, and Mission District, which was once a military base that became a park.
Although the bay separates neighboring cities, they are connected by a network that provides public transportation. The area lies between Silicon Valley in South California and wine country to the north. More than 7 million people reside there. There are many challenges facing the city, including a large population of unhoused people, rising living costs, and other problems common in large urban areas throughout the United States.
The Bay Area was a tech hub long before cryptocurrency’s advent in 2008. It was the ideal place to host one of the first Bitcoin conferences. At a time when crypto was still considered fringe, many people listened to speakers in San Jose in June 2013.
In January 2013, one of the first Bitcoin Meetups took place in the Bay Area. Jered Kenna and Ryan Singer, who would later co-found Chia Network as well as become the CEO of Tradehill, suggested that the first Tuesday of each month be set aside for discussion of the crypto asset. Jesse Powell, Kraken CEO, Ripple Labs cofounder Jed McCaleb and Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin, were among the other attendees. Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam from Coinbase were also present.
Armstrong said, “There were many cypherpunks attending those early Bitcoin meetups I went to,” in a 2021 interview with Garry Tan, founder of Initialized Capital.
2021: Coinbase goes public at a $100B market cap pic.twitter.com/wmGyHCb2u5
— Dan Held (In NYC), (@danheld). April 14, 20,21
California is a predominantly Democratic state in the United States, but it also has many conservative voters. As such, California lawmakers have had their share of anti-crypto policies. The state’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation issued cease and deist orders in 2022 against BlockFi, Voyager Digital, and Celsius Network for allegedly selling unregistered securities.
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission lifted an earlier ban in 2018 that prevented candidates for state or local office from accepting crypto donations. In February, State Senator Sydney Kamlager proposed that legislators amend the state code to allow cryptocurrency payments.
Governor Gavin Newsom, at the state level, announced in May 2022 that the executive order he signed was aimed to harmonize a regulatory framework in blockchain between the U.S. government, California, and spurring innovation in this space. This executive action was a continuation of President Joe Biden’s March executive order regarding digital assets.
CA is the first nation state to establish a framework that allows responsible blockchain technology to flourish. https://t.co/6Um0lJ9p1y
— Office of California Governor (@CAgovernor May 4, 2022
As pro-crypto candidates tried to overthrow those who were neutral or opposed to the space, the state seemed like it was going to be a battlefield to watch in the midterm elections 2022. Both pro-crypto candidates Greg Tanaka and Aarika Rhodes, Democrats, failed to win primaries to represent California’s 30th and 16th Congressional districts in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Tanaka stated to Cointelegraph that “so many of our elected leaders don’t support or understand technology.” In April. “They throw stones in the road in front .”
San Francisco Blockchain Week, a blockchain conference d10e, and Converge22 Web3-focused conferences in September have been held in the Bay Area.
Companies and projects
It would be difficult to name any major tech company that hasn’t started in Silicon Valley or the Bay Area. Three of the four major tech companies have their headquarters in this area, including Meta, a metaverse-adjacent company that rebranded as Facebook in October 2021. There are also headquarters for Block, a blockchain-focused payments company, and Twitter, and PayPal, Visa, and Cash App.
Many major cryptocurrency and crypto-adjacent initiatives began in the Bay Area. In fact, the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, attended the San Jose Bitcoin conference in 2013. Ripple Labs is also located in the Bay Area. It houses Robinhood Markets. Compound Labs. Decentralized music streaming service Audius. BitBull Capital, dYdX and Brave Software are all part of the Lightning Network developer Lightning Labs. BlockCypher and Blockchain-focused investment funds Pantera Capital, Scalar Capital and BlockCypher.
20Mission is a coworking space located in San Francisco’s Mission District. In 2015, Nakamoto’s electronics opened the first Bitcoin-accepting retail store. The art and technology hub is still in use today. It was home to many cryptocurrency-related startups including Block-Chain.info and 37Coins. Tradehill, Piper Wallet, Piper Wallet, and Purse.io. Crypto Castle, a co-living and office space, was once home to crypto entrepreneur Jeremy Gardner. It was located in the Potrero Hill area and was host to a variety of blockchain and crypto projects.
Mountain View Voice (@mvvoice March 29, 2014.
Hacker Dojo, a community tech centre, installed the first Bitcoin ATM within the San Francisco Bay Area. It was located in Mountain View in March 2014. Robocoin operated the ATM. A second ATM was installed at the Workshop Cafe in San Francisco’s Financial District later in the year. CoinATMRadar data shows that there are approximately 469 crypto ATMs located in San Francisco Bay Area. These ATMs are operated by companies like Coin Cloud, CoinFlip, and Bitcoin Depot.
Where can I spend cryptocurrency?
Although crypto as an exchange medium has not yet reached mainstream adoption in the U.S. there are over 100 businesses that accept Bitcoin and other tokens of payment according to Coinmap. These businesses include bookstores, restaurants, and even optometrists’ offices.
In the Bay Area, Whole Foods, Starbucks and other retailers accept cryptocurrency payments via third-party apps. Residents and workers living in Silicon Valley have the option to spend their crypto at over 50 local businesses. Although Meta initially offered only fiat payments and third-party apps, Meta has opened a brick-and mortar retail store in Burlingame, where it sells hardware to support its metaverse ambitions.
San Francisco State University offers a blockchain bootcamp through its Lam Family College of Business. Recently, Ripple Labs has partnered with Warsaw University of Technology and Ripple Labs to enable students to create blockchain-based solutions for projects such as supply chain tracing or the commercialization of artwork.
The University of California, Berkeley has a student-run Blockchain Innovation Hub for education, consulting, and research. In August 2022, Stanford’s Center for Blockchain Research hosted its fifth blockchain conference. The University of Palo Alto offers courses in blockchain and cryptocurrency through its School of Engineering during the fall semester. In San Francisco, students can learn more about blockchain through the College of Arts and Sciences.
“The potential applications for Bitcoin-like technology is immense,” states in the Stanford course description.
Controversies, and collapsing
Ross Ulbricht was the creator of the notorious darknet marketplace Silk Road. He was arrested at a San Francisco Public Library in 2013. Christopher Tarbell, a Federal Bureau of Investigation specialist, led the team that tracked Ulbricht down using VPN server records. These records corresponded to Ulbricht’s location in San Francisco where he also had logged into his Gmail account. This information led to the arrest and eventual closure of Silk Road. Ulbricht is currently serving two consecutive life sentences, with no possibility of parole.
Although it was not forced to close down due to excessive regulations or orders by law enforcement, Kraken abruptly closed its San Francisco office. Jesse Powell, CEO of the company, stated that the headquarters on Market Street had been closed due to complaints that “numerous workers were attacked, harassed, and robbed while they were on their way to the office.” Coinbase announced its intention to close down its San Francisco headquarters in 2022. This was done to reduce commuter threats.
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There are many notable figures in the San Francisco Bay Area
Pieter Wuille, Blockstream’s core developer; Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Solana cofounder Anatoly Yakovenko. Pantera Capital CEO Joe DiPasquale. Pantera Capital chief executive officer Brad Garlinghouse. Ripple Labs CEO David Schwartz. Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Ripple cofounder Chris Larsen. Ripple Labs CEO Jed McCaleb. Stellar Development Foundation CEO Denelle. Dixon. Crypto and tech investor Tim Drabra founder and CEO Bill Barhydt.
— ? ? ? ? (@nbougalis December 13, 2017,
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